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Cameroon Bans Bags In Bars As Anglophone Separatist Attacks Spike

Over the last several months, there has been mounting insecurity in Cameroon’s national capital, Yaounde,  following bomb explosions in bars and other thickly populated areas of the city.

The most recent incident was on November 2, 2020, when an explosive device concealed in a black and red bag exploded in a bar.

The bag later found to be an electronic device with remote activation, consisting of a motorbike battery, a memory card and electrical wires caused a major explosion that damaged the walls of the bar and a car.

The blast wounded nine persons, two of whose injuries were very serious and necessitated hospitalisation and operations.

Cameroon Anglophone separatists have in all of the cases, been suspected of being responsible for the attacks.

Most of the targets of bomb attacks in  Yaounde and the economic capital, Douala, have been drinking bars, restaurants and thickly populated areas.

As a first step towards limiting the damage, Jose Bienvenue Moise Mbazoa, the interim Senior Divisional Officer for Mfoundi, which includes all of Yaounde, on November 9, signed a prefectural order banning all those “carrying bags or any suspicious packets” from entering with them into bars and all other refreshment outfits, including restaurants.

The order warns all those trying to defy the order of serious consequences and instructs all collaborators of territorial administration as well as the forces of law and order to ensure the strict application of the order.

“The sub-divisional officers of Yaounde, the Commander of the Territorial Gendarmerie of Mfoundi, the Central Commissioners of Police for Yaounde, the presidents of syndicates and owners of drinking places as well as proprietors of restaurants in Yaounde city are charged, each in that which concerns him/her to ensure the execution of the order, ” Mbazoa said.

Yaounde city alone has recorded four bomb blasts during the last five months.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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