United States Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, expressed "great sorrow" today after her motorcade accidentally struck a 7-year-old boy, causing fatal injuries.
U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power spoke to the press today after meeting privately with the 7-year-old boy's family, expressing profound grief at the horrific accident. The accident, which claimed the life of the 7-year-old boy, came at the start of Samantha Power's trip to Africa to visit the "front lines" in the fight against Boko Haram, the extremist group which abducted almost three hundred female students from an all-girls school in Nigeria.Samantha Power's motorcade accidentally struck the 7-year-old boy near the small city of Moloko in the northern region of Cameroon. Power visited the area with a motorcade and entourage of journalists and aides to meet with refugees and others who have been displaced by the brutal violence of Boko Haram.
"We offer our profound condolences, and our grief, and heartbreak," said Samantha Power after speaking with the 7-year-old boy's family.
Observers are calling the motorcade accident which killed the young boy a "disastrous" start to Samantha Power's tour through the front lines in the fight against Boko Haram. According to the Associated Press, the motorcade accident occurred in the early hours of Monday morning, when the boy inadvertently wandered into the street, in the path of U.N. Ambassador Power's motorcade.
The Ambassador's motorcade struck the boy in what is being described as a "bloody accident." The 7-year-old boy was struck by the sixth car in the motorcade, which was reportedly traveling at around 60 miles per hour. The boy reportedly darted into the two-lane highway, before the driver of the sixth vehicle in Power's motorcade could react or swerve out of the way.
A man was seen running from his home with his hands held high, attempting to call the boy back before he ran into traffic and was fatally struck by U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power's motorcade. A helicopter from the Cameroonian government was overhead, providing aerial security for the fast-moving motorcade, and reportedly witnessed the accident that claimed the boy's life.
According to an anonymous source speaking with the Associated Press, the boy was rushed to the hospital after being struck by the U.N. Ambassador's motorcade, but his condition was already "hopeless."
Members of U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power's entourage were visibly shaken by the event, including one Power aide who turned away to cry as Samantha Power met with the boy's bereaved family. The Associated Press reports that U.S. officials have not commented on any plans to compensate the family for the tragic accident.The driver of the vehicle which hit and killed the 7-year-old boy was Cameroonian, reports Fox News, which corroborates the details of the Associated Press report, including the speed at which the armored vehicle was traveling — around 60 miles per hour, according to sources familiar with the car accident. It's unlikely that Ambassador Power's motorcade could have reacted in time to avoid hitting the 7-year-old boy. The U.N. Ambassador's convoy was traveling quickly through "unsecured" territory to ensure the safety of the journalists and officials within the convoy.
According to the Associated Press, the motorcade traveled significantly slower the rest of the day, likely as a result of the tragic accident which fatally wounded a 7-year-old Cameroonian boy early Monday morning.
U.N. Ambassador's trip to Cameroon comes as part of the United States' increased emphasis on fighting terrorism abroad, particularly the brutal actions of the militant group Boko Haram, which has in recent years terrorized African nations, including Cameroon — which the Associated Press describes as the "front line" in the fight against Boko Haram.
[Photo by AP Photo/Andrew Harnik]