Recently, a distressing video went viral on the internet. The video showed 2 women and children being escorted off by a group of soldiers, blindfolded, and then shot at 22 times. This story was picked up by BBC News Africa, who pried their investigative eyes into the matter and unearthed a number of facts which helped find the perpetrators in the video.

Disclaimer: The video you are about to see is very distressing.

A heated debate on social media ensued which pinned the responsibility of this merciless act of killing on Cameroon and Mali. The Cameroonian government was quick to dismiss the video as fake.

BBC probed its own eyes into the situation to prove that it did indeed happen on Cameroonian soil and that the government was washing its hand away from responsibility.

They dug up various clues which not only found the perpetrators but also found the location and the time when the killings took place.

The ridgeline which appeared at the beginning of the video was cross-checked with that of Google Earth’s and it was indeed on the Cameroonian soil- outside a town called Zelevet which is towards the north of Cameroon.

This is also the place where the Cameroonian army is fighting Boko Haram, the jihadist group.

The investigation through Google Earth also found matches of terrain and vegetation from that of the video- pointing to an exact location where the killings allegedly took place.

What about the time? 

The video went viral in 2018, but the satellite imagery and putting two and two together approximated the month of the killings to be between March 20th and April 5th, 2015.

As for identifying the perpetrators, a huge clue lay bare in the viral video- the guns that they carried, which were used by some divisions of the Cameroonian army, and the names that were being called out. 

Their location also revealed that the outpost of those soldiers was just a few hundred metres away, leading to a surmounting evidence on the Cameroonian army.

One of the names that were called out in the video was ‘Tchotcho’. It was later confirmed that this man was a soldier under investigation.

Another man, Barnabas, who was tying the women up, was also found to be a soldier under investigation. 

The last man was identified to be Tsanga, as his colleague called him out, was also found out to be under investigation.

The mounting evidence against the Cameroonian army-men coerced the government to initiate a probe, resulting in subsequent arrests and imprisonment of the perpetrators.

These men now await to stand a fair trial, one which they clearly failed to give to those innocents that they so brutally murdered. 

People on Twitter came out and spoke against the murders, condemning the horrific event they saw. They also applauded the journalism of BBC who didn’t give into rumours and did their part to investigate into the matter, eventually unearthing facts that helped bring the army clad men to justice.

Had it not been for the investigation by BBC, this event would never have been laid bare to the eyes of the public and the scrutiny which followed.