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Another Cameroon Journalist Killed

FILE: Representative illustration of radio station antenna towers. Taken Mar. 13, 2001
FILE: Representative illustration of radio station antenna towers. Taken Mar. 13, 2001

The United Nations on Tuesday said it was concerned about the safety of journalists in Cameroon after a radio presenter was killed last week, days after the murder of another journalist that shook the central African nation.

Radio presenter Jean-Jacques Ola Bebe was found dead outside his home in the capital Yaounde on Feb. 2, allegedly gunned down by unknown assailants, U.N. Human Rights spokesperson Seif Magango said in a statement.

His killing occurred 11 days after the mutilated remains of prominent journalist Martinez Zogo, an outspoken critic of suspected state graft, were discovered near Yaounde.

Both used their media outlets to denounce alleged embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds. Ola Bebe worked closely with Zogo, who directed a private radio station, and had been advocating for justice after his murder.

"Cameroonian authorities must take all necessary measures to create an enabling environment for journalists to work without fear of reprisal," Magango said.

"We note that President (Paul) Biya has ordered investigations into Martinez Zogo's killing, and certain arrests have been made," Magango added, calling for Ola Bebe's killing to be dealt with in the same manner.

A Cameroonian businessman was arrested on Monday in connection with the murder of Zogo, who was kidnapped on Jan. 17 by unknown assailants after trying to enter a police station to escape his attackers. His body was found on Jan. 22.

The president's office said last week that several suspects had been arrested, but gave no details.

Attacks on journalists appear to be on the rise in Cameroon, where Biya - Africa's second-longest serving leader - has cracked down on dissent since he came to power over four decades ago.

At least three other Cameroonian journalists reported that they had received credible threats from unidentified people last month, according to the United Nations.