Mamfe, Cameroon – The Mamfe Mayor, Robertson Tabenchong Ashu, has emphasised that the recent fire outbreak at Mamfe Central Park was unrelated to separatist activity. On the evening of February 7, 2024, a wild fire engulfed approximately 10 shops in the park, located in the South West Region of Cameroon.
Addressing the media, Mayor Robertson Tabenchong Ashu clarified that the fire originated from a shop whose owner was absent during the incident.
He stated, “An unknown fire has burned 10 shops today. We don’t know where the fire came from. Eyewitnesses told us that the fire started in a shop that was locked up. The person who owned the shop was not there at the time.”
While acknowledging that the exact cause of the fire remains unknown, Mayor Ashu emphasised that the incident had no connection to an attack by Ambazonian fighters. He declared, “I want to state it very clearly, critically, that it is not an Ambazonian attack. The fire was not caused by Ambazonian terrorists. No! It is caused by an unknown situation.”
An eyewitness provided an account of the incident, stating, “I heard a shout that there was fire at the third store behind. When I stood up, I noticed smoke. That is how we rushed to the scene to start evacuating goods.” Despite the successful evacuation of numerous items, significant material losses were incurred.
In order to identify the cause of the fire outbreak, Mayor Robertson announced that law enforcement would launch an investigation.
He also urged well-wishers and those of goodwill to extend support to the victims financially or materially.
“Meanwhile, we continue to sympathise with those who have lost their properties and to say that in any way we can reach out to support them, we can do so because they have families to care for,” pleaded Mayor Ashu.
It is noteworthy that Mamfe has been a focal point of separatist attacks since the onset of the Anglophone crisis several years ago. A recent tragic incident involved the murder of approximately 30 civilians by separatists and the burning of a hospital in the same town.