Bamenda, headquarter of the crisis-hit Northwest Region, slumped into a separatist–imposed lockdown on Friday, February 10, as Cameroon prepares to celebrate its 57th National Youth Day on 11 February.
MMI observed that streets remained largely deserted and void of economic activity, and very few people could be seen using the roads.
“There is no one on the streets, I have covered several kilometres, and I saw no one,” said a Bamenda resident who also sent an exclusive video to MMI.
“This means we all have to stay indoors from this Friday till Sunday, when the ghost town will be lifted. How are we going to cope?” Our source questioned.
Separatist fighters in the English-speaking Regions of Cameroon have usually called for a lockdown of activities on the eve and during national events as a way of resisting the government of President Paul Biya, who turns 90 on February 13.
This year, the separatists sent out messages on Whatsapp and other social media platforms warning people against going out on February 10 and 11.
The government also responded by reinforcing security in the two Regions on the eve of the Youth Day celebrations.
Meanwhile, the leader of Ambazonia Governing Council, Lucas Ayaba Cho, had called on people to stay indoors on February 11, adding that Ambazonia fighters will be making moves on that day.
Early this February 10, reports said several explosions were head in Bamenda. The spokesperson for Ambazonia Defence Forces, Capo Daniel, also said their fighters were responsible for the explosions.
Meanwhile, government officials, including Senior Divisional Officers and Governors of the Anglophone Regions have been coaching people to defy separatist lockdowns and turn out for the Youth Day celebrations.
They have also been telling separatist fighters to drop their weapons and join the disarmament, demobilization and reinterpretation centres Government has created.
Mimi Mefo Info