Kumba (National Times)-Scores of women comprising traders and buyers alike sustained minor injuries early Sunday February 10 as gunfire triggered pandemonium at the Fiango-Market in Kumba, South West Region of Cameroon.
The population totaling hundreds had defied the separatists’ lockdown to buy foodstuffs as the separatists’ lockdown declared across English speaking Cameroon enters a second week tomorrow.
According to the mother of a one month old baby (names withheld) who sustained injuries on her three fingers in the course of the escape frenzy, soldiers on patrol fired into the air causing people to start running.
A trader told The National Times that, they could not ascertain why the soldiers fired gunshots into the air. Our source stated that, the sounds of the gunfire paralyzed the atmosphere at the market.
Petit traders and others who had braved the deserted streets to the market fell on each other as everyone sort for safety.
The consequences of people trampling on others in the course of the escape are the minor injuries which many incurred on different body parts. Most of those who dared to visit the market today we interviewed said, their families have endured hunger for too long.
Some traders on their part stated that, they came to sell following pressure from the population. Others said they were afraid the foodstuff will get rotten as the lockdown stays on.
Our interviewees refused to comment on reports that, the renewed atmosphere of life at the market this Sunday came at the instance of a clearance from suspected separatists’ fighters.
Meanwhile on Saturday February 9, the Senior Divisional Officer for Meme, SDO Chamberlin Ntou’ou Ndong was at the Kumba Main Market to see the unfolding of things. Here, the major access gates into the largest market in Anglophone Cameroon were shut.
However, a handful of people were inside the market buying and selling. The visit came after suspected separatists fighters disrupted the sale of foodstuffs around a portion of the market known as ‘Back Park’ in the evening hours of Wednesday February 6.
Details of the prefect’s message to the traders remains out of public knowledge. However, the administrator is known to have visited the market to assure security and ensure that people get access to food stuffs.
Prices of basic food stuffs have skyrocketed in the last one week that the lockdown has been on. Fear is rife the prices may climb further during the first few days after the lockdown. A bulb of tomatoe for instance is sold at FCFA 100.