The Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) for Mezam, Simon Emile Mooh, has placed an indefinite ban on undeclared meetings and public manifestations throughout his area of command.
This is the contents of a prefectural order signed Friday, September 29, 2023, by the SDO.
The document warns that defaulters will be punished in accordance with the rules and regulations in force.
Analysts have been quick to react to the decision by saying that the SDO’s decision is a result of October 1, a day Ambazonia separatists celebrate as the independence day of Southern Cameroons, a place they call Ambazonia.
Each year, as October 1 approaches, all the Senior Divisional Officers and Division Officers (DO) in Anglophone Cameroon sign orders prohibiting unauthorised gatherings.
This is to prevent separatist fighters and their supporters from having any military or civilian manifestations in the North West and South West Regions of the country.
According to Nexus, a Bamenda citizen, the Prefectoral Orders have never been effective.
“Since the start of the crisis, we have always seen manifestations, both civilian and armed groups, despite the bans and heavy military presence. This is to indicate that such decisions are not binding on the fighters,” Nexus told MMI.
Many have also seen the ban on illegal gatherings as a way to preserve lives as it warns the population against dangerous movements which might end up causing them to lose their lives.
As October 1 draws near, the number of people seen leaving the restive North West Region of Cameroon to the French-speaking part of the country has increased.
Others are leaving their neighbourhoods for areas they consider relatively safe. They say they are moving out to avoid being caught up in confrontations between government forces and Separatist fighters as the case has always been.