Calm is gradually returning to Kupe-Muanengba Division, South West Region of Cameroon after reports of meetings in line with the forthcoming Presidential elections triggered gun battles in Bamgem and Tombel over the weekend.
In Tombel, a gendarme officer whose identity The National Times could not immediately get was abducted. Gunmen are reported to have whisked the security officer off after rumours went wild that the security operatives were strategising on how to ensure the holding of a meeting of the ruling CPDM party.
Similar rumours of a supposed meeting of the CPDM meeting in the Divisional headquarters of Bangem resulted in open gun exchanges. Gunmen are said to have launched an attack on security operatives. The nation’s forces fired back forcing the gunmen to retreat. The unknown gunmen are said to be elements of a self-proclaim group known as the ‘Bkossi Warriors of Bangem’.
Though no casualty has been reported, inhabitants of the affected localities spent the entire weekend in the bushes. In Bangem, families escaped alongside their belongings.
While separatists are mounting pressure against the staging of any meetings in line with the forthcoming elections, President Biya, Chairman of the CPDM party has appointed elections officials across the 58 Divisions of the country.
Ministers and former Ministers of Kupe-Muanenguba Division are reported to have attempted to stage secret meetings as part of field work ahead of October 7.
Despite the tensions over the weekend, the Divisional Commission of the CPDM for Kupe-Muanenguba is yet o react to accusation that it programmed secret meetings across the Division.
The major localities of Bangem, Tombel and Nguti in the Division have known difficult moments since the current Crisis. In Nguti, a home-coming that was expected to be organised in honour of Johnson Okie Ndoh appointed Director General of the National Hydrocarbons Price Stabilisation Fund (CSPH) a few months back has been put on hold.
No major political rally has been staged in the Division since the Crisis escalated.
The Kupe-Muanenguba Division is a major stronghold of President Biya’s CPDM party. The Councils across the administrative area now operate below capacity.