Northern Cameroon– Cameroonians are continuing to flee the northern town of Kousseri, seeking asylum in neighboring Chad, following intercommunal confrontations that left 22 people dead and nearly 30 injured, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. On the 5th of December, clashes between herders and fishermen over water management and use erupted in Kousseri, forcing over 30,000 people to flee to Chad.
“It’s unfortunate because, much to our surprise, it’s the people who have lived together who are at odds. We are disturbed, even on the other hand, because our family has invaded our space “According to a local, Soldiers have been stationed in the streets of Kousseri since last Thursday to prevent fresh conflicts.
However, tensions remain high in the streets, particularly at the food and livestock market, which was set ablaze during battles between the Mousgoum local community, Which is made up of fishermen, and the Choua Arabs, who have been herders for thousands of years. People are still hunkered down in their homes, and finding food is challenging. “People do not have enough food to eat. We bring them bread from Chad on the other side of the border. We come here to sell them, but we always return to the other side to meet their requirements “a local explained.
Before visiting the injured in Kousseri hospitals, the governor of the Far North region went on the ground to try to calm tensions. These people were injured by traditional firearms, arrows, and some were stabbed with knives, according to medical sources. “We must state that the situation is becoming more normalized, and people are accepting each other, coming to their senses, and executing the orders of the Head of State, namely the desire to live together,” said Midjiyawa Bakary, the area governor.
In similar clashes between fishermen and herders in the Far North last August, 45 people were killed and several dozen men were injured. When new clashes erupted, more than 20,000 Cameroonians had fled to Chad, with 8,500 still missing, according to the UNHCR.