Pandemonium ripped through the Muea Market in Buea, South West Region of Cameroon Sunday September 2nd as gunmen suspected to be pro-independence fighters surfaced shutting down bookshops hours to school resumption.
Eye witnesses told The National Times that as early as 9:00 am unknown gunmen entered the market ordering a stop to the sale of text , exercise books and other didactic materials.
Schools resume across Cameroon for the 2018/2019 academic year tomorrow Monday September 3. Separatists’ activities have hindered effective schooling for two years running in the English speaking Regions.
At the market, the pro-independence fighters moved from shop to shop ordering book dealers to shutdown or have their stores burnt.
A trader said, onlookers stood in awe as the fighters shouted; “We warned you selling books not to come to the market today but you all decided to come and to see our reactions. If you don’t remove these books now we will burn them”
Traders dealing in other items not related to books also shut their businesses for fear of being attacked.
A book dealer Tegha Joan disclosed to The National Times that “I got an SMS last night from a strange number warning me not to bring my books to the market but I didn’t take it serious. Today the Amba boys just appeared in front of my shop telling me to pack my books or they will burn them now”. Tegha stated.
Directly opposite the Muea Market is the District Police Station serving the local population. At the time of writing this piece, the police and other security forces had not responded to the actions of the gunmen.
Even on Chief’s Street found in the heart of the same market, a mix control of security forces on duty did not retaliate to the orders from gunmen.
It would be recalled that around 3PM last Sunday, Pro-independence fighters temporally closed the same market.
Few days to last Sunday’s attack, Buea Mayor Patrick Ekema Esunge announced a visit to the same market. His was to know why traders are not paying rents and other market dues. Ekema has even threatened to close the market if traders fail to pay taxes.
Observers have quipped that last Sunday’s fracas might have been a move from the gunmen to ‘attack’ the mayor on his planned market tour.