Ethnic clashes in Cameroon leave at least 32 dead and many fleeing to Chad

Ethnic clashes in Cameroon leave at least 32 dead and many fleeing to Chad

Noriko Watanabe and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

At least 32 people have died in ethnic clashes between Mousgoum fishermen and Choa Arab herders. The severity of the situation resulted in the internal displacement of over 7,000 people. Externally, approximately 11,000 have fled to Chad since ethnic bloodshed began earlier this month. 

The overwhelming majority of people fleeing to Chad are women and children. Hence, they need emergency support in Oundouma (Chad) because this nation is also beset by many internal problems. 

Earlier this week, 12 people were killed and many villages destroyed during the latest ethnic clashes between Mousgoum fishermen and Choa Arab herders. Therefore, the armed forces of Cameroon need to quell the crisis while political mediation takes place. 

Reuters reports, “The ethnic violence is a worrying development in northern Cameroon, where the army has for years been battling Boko Haram and, more recently, militants linked to Islamic State.”

Water is the source of the conflict between fishermen and herders. Thus, if one group seeks to dominate the water, this naturally leads to tensions. Therefore, with the weaponization of the region after Islamist terrorist attacks in recent years, the violence is now more deadly between both ethnic groups. 

Governor Gayang Souare of Chari-Baguirmi said some local Christian churches are helping. Others are being supported by families who are helping refugees. However, many have been forced to flee to Chad and further afield.

In recent years, Cameroon is beset by deadly violence in Anglophone regions and concerning Islamic terrorism. Hence, recent ethnic violence is another crisis for a nation that is bedeviled by many deep-rooted problems.

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