US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power's trip to Cameroon's front lines in the war against Boko Haram started horrifically Monday as an armored jeep in her motorcade struck and killed a young boy who darted into the road. The incident occurred near the small city of Mokolo, in northern Cameroon, where Power, her aides, and accompanying journalists were headed to meet refugees and others displaced by the years of brutal attacks across West Africa. All of those meetings included small children. Power said she learned of the death with "great sorrow," the AP reports. She said she met with the boy's family to "offer our profound condolences and our grief and heartbreak."
The motorcade was moving at a fast clip, at times exceeding 40mph, while villagers lined up along the sides of the road. But when the boy darted onto the two-lane highway, there was no time for the sixth car in Power's convoy to react. The driver was Cameroonian. The vehicle that hit the boy initially stopped, but it was ordered by American security forces to continue traveling through the unsecured area. An ambulance in the US caravan immediately attended to the boy, but sources say his condition was already hopeless. The motorcade moved at a significantly slower pace for the rest of the day. Power returned to the scene of the bloody accident several hours later to meet the 7-year-old boy's mother and father, while residents of his village stood solemnly on a sandy expanse.