American U.N. envoy Samantha Power's motorcade strikes, kills boy in Cameroon

U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power
(Image credit: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

Samantha Power, America's ambassador to the United Nations, was in Cameroon on Monday to show support for the country and try to help convince the West African nation's residents that it is better to stick with the U.S.-backed government than the Boko Haram Islamist militants wreaking havoc in the region. As her convoy was speeding through one village, however, a 7-year-old boy ran out into the street to see the motorcade and then, apparently distracted by a helicopter providing security from above, he did not get out of the way and was struck dead by one of the SUVs in the convoy.

One of the cars in the motorcade pulled over to check on the boy, The New York Times reports, and an ambulance following Power was sent back to take him to a hospital. Power learned about the accident only when she arrived in Mokolo, the capital, for her first meeting. When she heard, spokesman Kurtis Cooper said, she said "Oh, my God" and insisted on going to see the boy's family, which she did. "This time when the convoy arrived in the village, there were no laughing and waving children running on the side of the road," reports Helene Cooper at The Times. "Instead, hundreds of villagers, surrounded by dozens of black-clad Cameroonian soldiers, stood near the road, staring stone-faced at the motorcade." You can read more, including about Power's meetings with Boko Haram refugees, at The New York Times.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.