Clashes between ethnic groups are rare in Cameroon but frequent in Chad and Nigeria, particularly between sedentary farmers and semi-nomadic herders.
CAPE TOWN, August 16 (ANA) – Thousands of people have fled to seek safety in Chad after clashes between herders and fishers claimed 12 lives in northern Cameroon.
The United Nations (UN) said on Sunday that dozens were wounded in the violence, which erupted Tuesday in the Far North region.
“The pressing needs are for health services, shelter and food,” deputy director for the UN refugee agency in Chad, Iris Blom, said.
She said 85 percent of the refugees who fled to Oundouma, south of the Chadian capital N’Djamena, were mostly women and children.
Regional governor Midjiyawa Bakari said the violence began when Muslims built dams to divert water to help them catch fish, in a location where ethnic Arab Choa herders also take their cattle for watering.
The herders were angry because their livestock were falling into holes in the ground dug by the fishers to lure their catch, Bahar said.
Clashes between ethnic groups are rare in Cameroon but frequent in Chad and Nigeria, particularly between sedentary farmers and semi-nomadic herders, France news agency AFP says.
In Chad, the local governor has said authorities are acting quickly to ensure the conflict does not spill across the border from Cameroon.
Chari-Baguirmi Governor Gayang Souare said some of the refugees were placed with families, while others were lodged in schools and churches.
Cameroon’s Far North is also struggling with cross-border attacks by jihadists from northeastern Nigeria.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay