By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
Cameroonian authorities in Yaoundé, the country’s capital announced, Tuesday November 10, 2020, they were banning bags in off-licenses, restaurants, and bars, citing bags as vectors of explosives.
Mbazoa Moïse Bienvenu, the First Assistant Senior Divisional Officer for Mfoundi, a precinct in the country’s Centre Region said in the statement, Tuesday, no one will be allowed to get into bars and restaurants with bags.
Yaoundé has witnessed at least four different explosions in the city, including popular locales like Meleng, Damas Roundabout, Mokolo and most recently at the Nsam neighborhood.
Authorities are increasingly believing that some of these devices are transported in bags, placed within these leisure sites and later detonated.
Parts of the release also states that no suspicious parcel will be allowed in these listed categories.
Mbazoa also warns anyone who goes against the decision will be punished according to the “law in place.”
Owners of bars, restaurants and security operatives within the precinct, the release adds, have been charged with ensuring the application of the decision.
Increased tension and confrontations in the country’s Anglophone regionsa where rebels have been battling the regular army to establish an independent state of Ambazonia in an armed conflict already in its third year might have triggered this security moves, analysts have said.
There are growing indications and threats the rebels are moving the war into the capital and other towns other than the Anglophone regions.
Cameroon is already suffering a discoloured reputation in terms of security which caused her an Africa Nations Cup hosting right in 2019.
Many diplomatic missions have in the past issued travel advisory to their citizens to remain vigilant citing towns like Yaoundé and Douala.
The move is also seen as a step to contain insecurity and give a clearer security image of the country before the Africa Cup of Nations that she is due to host in January.