The US ambassador to the UN has expressed her "great sorrow" after her motorcade accidentally hit and killed a seven-year-old boy in Cameroon.
The incident occurred near the small city of Moloko, 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.
She said she met with the boy’s family to “offer our profound condolences and our grief and heartbreak.”
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.
The motorcade was moving at a fast clip, at times exceeding 60 mph, 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.
Samantha Power was in Cameroon to show US support for the campaign against militant Islamist group Boko Haram when the accident happened on Monday.
An armoured jeep knocked the boy as he tried to cross a road when the convoy was heading towards a refugee camp.
"Although the boy received immediate medical care from an ambulance in our convoy, he died shortly thereafter," Ms Power said.
Sources tell us that, At the moment of impact, a man could be seen running up the embankment, with his arms held high, to the street to try to stop the child. A Cameroonian helicopter traveling overhead as part of a large security contingent saw the collision.
The vehicle that hit the boy initially stopped, but was ordered by American security forces to continue traveling through the unsecured area. An ambulance in the U.S. caravan immediately attended to him.
The boy was rushed to a local hospital, though his condition was already hopeless, according to people familiar with the incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Several U.S. officials were visibly affected, with one Power aide turning away to cry as his boss met with refugee children shortly afterward.
The motorcade moved at a significantly slower pace for the rest of the day.
Officials did not immediately identify the boy. U.S officials wouldn’t comment immediately on any plans for compensation to the boy’s family.