7:30am at Mile 6 Nkwen, in the restive North West Region of Cameroon, Sonita (as she would prefer to be called) wakes up tired and weary.
Her unstable physical health condition made it impossible for her to walk more than five metres from her home.
The final year student of the University of Bamenda took ill just hours after Pro-Independence Fighters announced a lock down of all public and private activities in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.
« I am unwell; I will only have to wait for the 11-day lock down to end since there is no means for me to go to the hospital. I have no choice, » she told Mimi Mefo Info in a rather faint voice, which revealed her health condition.
Sonita is not the only one affected by the two weeks temporary restrictions of movements and business activities by the pro-separatists, fighting for independence of the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon for over three years now.
Such cases abound!
Families have lost loved ones because of the lockdown, as transporting patients to hospitals remains problematic.
A driver of one of the ambulances in Bamenda said:
« At 8:00am we receive the first call, and by noon, we had transported six cases to the hospital. We cannot tell exactly how many people we transport to the hospital, but not everyone can benefit from our services, » he said.
As Mimi Mefo Info approached the Regional Hospital in Bamenda on the fifth day of the lockdown, we caught up with a woman in tears.
« I am coming from the mortuary, my sister just lost her baby because we could not get to the hospital in time, » she explained.
On the first week of the lock down, personnel of the Bamenda Regional Hospital were on their way to meet up with emergency cases at the hospital, when, they were attacked at Mile 8 Mankon, Bamenda II subdivision by unknown gunmen.
In another quarter in Nkwen, a student is worried about her career.
She said classes have been constantly disrupted and that, the lockdown made things worst.
« The lockdown has really affected me. According to the school program, I have exams on Tuesday but I can’t study properly since we have not been able to meet with the lecturer for directives. »
« The tense atmosphere, with constant shootings is not also a suitable atmosphere for concentration and studies, » intimated Sonia, another university student.
Business activities grounded
Several shops were ravaged by flames at the Bamenda Commercial Avenue.
The flames broke out in broad daylight on February 7th, 2019 « I only learned about the incident on TV since we have been stuck indoors. The fire emanates from a garbage can, placed along one of the streets behind the Bamenda Main Market by the waste disposal company. Due to the stench from the dustbin, unknown individuals were forced to burn the garbage. The fire unfortunately extended to some nearby locked up shop, » Nji John, a local authority revealed to Mimi Mefo Info.
But MMI is still to establish whether the inferno was an accident or an arson attack.
While scores of youths were arrested and detained in Buea, many in other parts of the two Anglophone regions lost their lives.
-In Bole Bakundu, at least 20 youths died after soldiers reportedly opened fire in the market.
-At least five persons were shot dead in Muyuka last week.
-One person was shot dead in Wututu purportedly by soldiers
-One person shot dead at travellers.
-Nine other injured victims were rushed to the hospital.
-A man was shot in a crossfire in Kumba
-Three bodies were discovered in Banya
-Four people died after the District Hospital in Kumba was set on fire.
Cameroonian authorities and Amba boys have continued to blame each other for masterminding the « arson » attack.
-A soldier was beheaded in Buea by suspected Ambazonian fighters
-An officer of the Limbe Naval Base, Mbonde Emmanuel was killed by purported pro-independence fighters.
-Five soldiers were injured in a gun battle in Wum
-Close to a dozen soldiers were wounded along the Buea-Kumba motorway.
-Close to ten vehicles set on fire with several homes destroyed and properties lost.
Many like Barrister Agbor Balla, Ayah Ayah Abine criticised the lockdown, arguing that it has devastating consequences on the already embattled population.
But Ambazonian fighters have said sending a strong signal to the Biya regime and to the international community by boycotting February 11th and showing support for their detained leaders in Yaounde was imperative.
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