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Fear chains NW, SW population indoors after expiration of curfews

Fear of the unknown continues to keep thousands of families in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon indoors, despite the expiration of the 48 hour curfews which administrative officials signed to forestall separatists’ celebrations of October 1.

In the North West Regions wherein a Governor Adolf Lele L’afrique-signed curfew suspended any gathering and movements on Sunday, September 30 and Monday October 1, life is yet to regain momentum.

The Regional capital Bamenda host to the highest number of people in the restive Region is yet to attain its normal ambiance. Families are still trapped indoors for fear of being attacked.

But for medical ambulances and security vans that patrol the metropolis, businesses remain shut down. The Bamenda Main Market with over 1000 stalls is still under lock and key.

Busy areas of Bamenda such as the City Chemist Roundabout and other popular transport agencies send a message of despair to any passers-by. Bikers and cabs that steam Bamenda in the early hours of the day were still not seen on the road on October 2 after the Governor’s decision expired.

Deserted streets

A similar feeling of fear is evident in the South West Region. Though no Regional curfew came into place, the Divisional Officers(Dos) of Buea and Limbe I in Fako Division signed such curfews.

Yet the movement of persons was restricted across the Region. As at the early hours of Wednesday, October 3, major cities such as Kumba were still deserted. The population was still indoors. Markets remained dead while stray animals move across neighbourhoods.

It is unlikely that there will be any form of movements within the cities and across towns before October 7.

A few traders who went selling in Konye last Saturday returned with painful stories of attacks from gunmen.

Most people may only dare step out of their homes after the October 7 voting day. Administrators may find it difficult to convince the population to go about their normal activities given threats from separatists. Restorationists had declared ‘lockdown’ across the same Region till October 10.

Thus the scanty streets, and moribund cities and villages manifesting across the North West and South West Regions may only subside after the Presidential election.

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