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Missing Cameroon journalist Martinez Zogo found dead

A popular Cameroonian radio journalist who had gone missing was found dead on Sunday, according to his employer and authorities.

Martinez Zogo was the managing director of Yaounde-based private radio station Amplitude FM and the star of Embouteillage (Gridlock), a popular daily program.

The 51-year-old frequently addressed corruption matters on broadcast, challenging personalities in the public eye by name. His disappearance began on Tuesday.

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“I went to Ebogo (15 kilometres north of Yaounde) early this morning where I saw and recognised the body of Martinez Zogo. The prosecutor’s deputy was present and his wife was there to identify him,” Amplitude FM radio editor in chief Charly Tchouemou told AFP.

A police source who spoke to AFP under the condition of anonymity confirmed Zogo’s death.

According to a member of the victim’s family who spoke to AFP under the condition of anonymity, a sizable crowd gathered as Zogo’s body was transported to the Yaounde central hospital mortuary for an autopsy.

Following his disappearance, social media was flooded with remarks denouncing “the brutal abduction of a journalist” with Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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RSF claims that on Tuesday, Zogo’s severely damaged car was discovered in front of a police station in a Yaounde, Cameroon, suburb.

“There are many grey areas regarding the circumstances of his brutal abduction,” Sadibou Marong, head of the sub-Saharan Africa office of RSF, told AFP.

“The authorities must launch a rigorous, thorough and independent investigation to establish the full chain of responsibility and the circumstances that led to this sad event,” Marong said.

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Cameroon’s national journalists’ union condemned a “heinous assassination” and urged media workers to wear black on January 25 as a sign of mourning.

The International Press Institute, a Vienna-based press freedom organisation, asked Cameroonian authorities to “promptly investigate the heinous murder and ensure that those guilty are brought to justice”.

The political opposition was equally angry, with Social Democratic Front (SDF) lawmaker Jean-Michel Nintcheu decrying a “crime which cannot go unpunished”.

Several Cameroonian television channels dedicated their programming to Zogo’s passing on Sunday.

Cameroonian-French writer Calixthe Beyala said she was “dejected, saddened” by news of his death.

“I knew he was dead as soon as it was announced that he was kidnapped,” she told Info TV.

“We can ask ourselves the question: whose turn is it? Each of us can find ourselves in this situation for something that we might have said.”

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