Fundong, North West Region, Cameroon, December 19, 2023 – Business owners in Fundong, the capital of Boyo Division, were greeted with locked doors and sealed shops this morning as they attempted to resume their usual activities. The closure, allegedly enforced by the Fundong Council, has left the small town of approximately 20,000 residents in shock and fear.
The affected individuals, who reached out to Mimi Mefo Info on December 19, 2023, expressed their concerns about the sudden closure. According to a businessman and resident of Fundon who spoke on the basis of anonymity, the council sealed their shops because they were not open for business on Monday.
The residents, however, explained that the Anglophone Crisis-related security concerns that still plague the North West Region are the reason behind their decision to keep their businesses closed on Mondays. “We fear our lives; we can’t open on Mondays because of fear of the unknown,” our source said.
Fundong, situated about 80 km from Bamenda, has experienced the ripple effects of the unrest in the region, with inhabitants expressing a genuine fear of separatists if they open their shops on Monday.
Separatists have enforced a lockdown policy since January 2017 to mount pressure on the government to address their grievances. They have carried out deadly attacks on civilians to enforce the lockdown.
The North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have been grappling with a complex conflict that has led to heightened insecurity in recent years. Many businesses and individuals in these areas have adjusted their routines to navigate the challenges posed by the unrest.
The affected business owners urged the Fundong Council to acknowledge the unique circumstances of the region and consider the genuine fears that compel them to refrain from opening their shops on Mondays. They emphasised that their decision is not arbitrary but stems from a collective concern for their safety in the face of the uncertain security situation.
“We all know how the situation is in the North West and South West Regions, so the council should not pretend as though they don’t know,” added our source.
As the town awaits an official response from the Fundong Council, residents are left grappling with the economic impact of the sudden closure and the broader implications it may have on their livelihoods. The incident underscores the delicate balance residents in conflict-affected regions must strike between economic activities and personal safety.