Bamenda goes dry as military launches operation “Bamenda clean”
The city of Bamenda in the North West region of Cameroon is partially paralysed Tuesday 8th September 2020 following a decision by the administration of the city prohibiting the circulation of motorcycles in major areas of the city.
An inhabitant of Ngomgham quarter says ” Many people could not go to their places of work today because motorcycles are not permitted to ply streets where their businesses are located.”
To a taxi driver we have opted to call Daniel (for security reasons) ” We have been threatened by amba boys not to carry out our activity. They want us to show solidarity to commercial motorcycles that have been banned from using some areas of the town. Though taxis have the right to go anywhere in the city, we are forced to respect else the boys will set ablaze our taxis.”
The army says their action is as a result of an operation dubbed “Bamenda Clean”, ordered by top command.
“The purpose of this operation is to protect and secure the population of the city of Bamenda and its surroundings. This is in response to frequent attacks perpetrated by terrorists and criminals such as kidnappings, robbery of banks and stores, looting, wanton killings of civilians and personnel of the Defense and Security forces” States Brigadier General Nka Valere, Commander of the 5th Military region.
He calls on the population to collaborate with the forces of law and order. “The atmosphere of terror imposed by these terrorists and criminals on our population is unacceptable” he adds.
The situation has rendered the city practically empty as fighters tuzzle with the administration over the decision. Few people have been spotted trekking as few taxis are available to transport people and goods.
At the Bamenda food market, Ntarikon and main markets, selling and buying is going on out of the markets. Most of the shops remain closed ad their owners have not opened due to transportation problems.
Earlier last week, Bamenda City Mayor mentioned that the decision was not put in place to punish the people. Paul Achobong mentioned that they will examined the implementation phase and might carry out adjustments if necessary.
Early this morning, security forces carried out an unannounced house to house check at Mbengwi road and Azire Old Church at Bamenda 2 sub division.
Friday September 4th 2020, Bamenda City mayor and the senior divisional officer of Mezam division signed a join release prohibiting commercial and private motorcycles from using some parts of the city. To the administration, separatist fighters mostly use motorcycles to carry out killings in Bamenda.
“We call on the syndicates of motorbike riders in various subdivisions to ensure that the implementation of these orders don’t suffer any derailments in order to re-enforce security measures” Brigadier General Nka warns.
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