11,000 Cameroonians flee to Chad after communal violence

Wednesday August 18 2021
Far North region

The fighting in the Far North region broke out on Tuesday, authorities said. PHOTO | FILE


The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in Chad and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations said those who arrived are settled in different villages in Chari Baguimi province.

UNHCR said its officials visited one of the areas hosting refugees from Cameroon together with other partners on August 14 to meet with the new arrivals and assess their needs ahead of a response.

“The main needs are food, non-food items and shelters,” the UN body said.

About 20 people have been killed in clashes between fishermen and herders in the Far North region of Cameroon, the deadliest intercommunal violence in the country in contemporary times.

Clashes broke out last week between Mousgoum fishermen and Arab Choa herders in a dispute about water holes the fishermen dug in the ground.

The governor of the Far North region of Cameroon, Midjiyawa Bakari, told state broadcaster Cameroon Radio Television that the dispute arose from a trivial issue before degenerating into a deadly scuffle in the Logone and Chari division of the region that borders Chad and Nigeria.


“It started as a dispute between Mousgoum fishermen and Arab Choa cattle rearers over a water source,” Governor Bakari told CRTV. He said the fishermen had erected dikes to develop their fishing grounds where the Arab Choa shepherds take their cattle to drink water in Zina, near the border with Chad.

Authorities in Cameroon have deployed the military to the area and are holding peace meetings with representatives of the two communities.

Governor Bakari said they have used traditional rulers and other local authorities to talk to the communities and relative calm had returned to the areas.

Deadly clashes between communities like that of August 10 are relatively rare in Cameroon but common in neighbouring countries like Chad, where farmer-herder clashes left at least 22 people dead and 18 injured on August 7.