On October 30, Charles Trumann Wesco, a U.S. missionary from Indiana, was shot and killed in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. It happened as he and his wife Stephanie were in a car being driven by another missionary near the city of Bamenda. Wesco was in the front seat, and two shots hit the windshield and struck him in the head. No one else was hurt.
The Region’s Governor, Deben Tchoffo, said armed groups staged attacks to stop the reopening of the University of Bamenda and the military fought back. He said Mr. Wesco might have been caught in the crossfire.
The military has killed at least four suspects in Wesco’s death and arrested many others, according to military spokesman Col. Didier Badjeck.
On October 31, Cameroon’s defense minister called on all foreign nationals in the country’s restive regions to be cautious. “If you must be there, immediately inform the military so we can assure your safety.” He added that Cameroon’s English-speaking northwest and southwest regions, where separatists are fighting for an independent state, are dangerous for foreigners.
 Assoc. Press, American Missionary Killed in Cameroon Amid Armed Conflict, N.Y. Times (Oct. 30, 2018); Assoc. Press, Cameroon Defense Minister Warns Foreigners Against Travel, N.Y. Times (Oct. 31, 2018).
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U.S. Comments on Killing of U.S. Citizen in Cameroon
On October 31, a U.S. State Department spokesman said that Charles Wesco was caught in crossfire and not deliberately targeted. He also said, “We have been in touch with senior Cameroonian government security officials and the victim was caught in crossfire. Cameroonian officials have assured us that a full investigation has been opened and the results will be shared with us.”
The State Department called on Cameroon’s military and separatist fighters in the country’s northwestern region to begin talks immediately without preconditions to restore peace and resolve grievances.
Reuters, U.S. Says American Killed in Cameroon Was Caught in Cross Fire, N.Y. Times (Oct. 31, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/10/31/world/africa/31reuters-cameroon-usa-missionary.html
U.S. State Dep’t, Department Press Briefing-October 31, 2018). https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2018/10/287043.htm#CAMEROON