Lawmakers in Cameroon are to vote on whether to implement the death penalty for people convicted of involvement in acts of terrorism, as the country continues to battle Islamist militant group Boko Haram on its border.
"The draft law provides the ultimate penalty, the death penalty, for anyone who personally, in complicity or under coercion commits a terrorist act," Parliament Speaker Cavaye Yeguie Djibril said.
The bill was met with applause by a large section of the Cameroonian parliament but it has received opposition from critics who believe the law will be used to target opponents of President Paul Biya, who has led the West African country for 32 years.
"This text seems obviously to be his response to the popular uprisings that have led to the fall of regimes in several African countries and in particular Burkina Faso," said Maurice Kamto, a key opposition figure who formerly served as a deputy justice minister.
The terror group have continually crossed over the northern Nigerian border into Cameroon to carry out attacks as their quest to form an Islamic caliphate continues to cause mass unrest in the region.
The militants have carried out a number of kidnappings in Cameroon and killed troops and villagers.
Another measure to be taken by the Cameroonian government in response to the growing threat from the terror group is the recruitment of 20,000 security forces in order to prevent Boko Haram from recruiting young men to fight for them.
Cameroon has not carried out an execution of a convicted criminal since 1997, according to Amnesty International.
According to Human Rights Watch, Boko Haram militants have killed at least 2,053 people since the beginning of 2014. But researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of International Studies estimate 7,000 people have been killed in the 12 months between July 2013 and June this year.