“With effect from the date of signature of this present order, the entering of persons into public places with bags and other types of luggage is hereby prohibited within Fako Division,” Engamba Emmanuel Ledoux, Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Fako Division, said in a statement dated November 25, 2020.
The senior civil administrator charged Divisional Officers, Mayors, and the forces of law and order to "strictly implement" this new decision.
“The general population residing within Fako Division is hereby informed that following Prefectural Order No. 970/2020 of November 25, 2020, the entering into public places (offices, shops, bars, off / on licenses, markets, etc.) with bags and other types of luggage is henceforth prohibited, ”Engamba said in a separate communique.
In a dispatch to all mayors in Fako Division, Engamba said, “I have the honor to request you to immediately ensure that all markets and other types of sales points within your competence are strictly controlled while restricting persons from entering into these places with bags and other types of luggage. ”
When a locally made “explosive device concealed in a black and red bag, representing an electronic device with remote activation, consisting of a motorbike battery, a memory card, and electrical wires” exploded in a bar in Yaoundé on November 2, 2020, authorities quickly prohibited locals from carrying bags and other suspicious items to public places.
Rene Emmanuel Sadi, Communication Minister & Government spokesman, said two plastic bottles containing an inflammatory liquid and an empty refrigerator gas canister, with signs of charring, were found at the scene of the explosion that left nine people injured.
Armed separatists were believed to be responsible for the attacks. The view has since gained ground after two men, who wanted to detonate an explosive in Douala's Bonaberi on November 18, 2020, rather became victims. Their artisanal bomb rather exploded and injured them, authorities say, citing confessions from the men who are now receiving medical attention while in custody.
Cameroon's state forces have been battling to dislodge armed separatists who pitched their tents in the North West and South West Regions since Anglophone protests transformed into an armed conflict in 2017.
Corporate demands by Common Law Lawyers and Anglophone Teachers led to protests in November 2016. The street demonstrations later morphed into ongoing running gun battles between state forces and armed separatist fighters in the predominantly English-speaking regions, leading to untold destruction of human lives, their habitats, and livelihoods.
Tit-for-tat killings, kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, arsons, maiming, and outright terror have become part of daily lives in some parts of the English-speaking regions.
The new security measures come in the heart of campaigns leading up to the first-ever regional elections billed for December 6. Armed separatists against the polls have sworn to foil the process.
Government authorities have, however, assured electors, who are councilors and traditional rulers, that "everything is under control".