The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is taking stock of inter-communal clashes in the far north of the country.
30 000. This is the number of Cameroonians who have found refuge in Chad, following clashes between the Arab-Choas and Mousgoums/Massa communities, informs the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As of 10 December 2021, UNHCR has documented the destruction of ten villages, 22 deaths and 30 injuries. According to Boris Cheshirkov, the spokesman for this UN organization, nearly 80% of Cameroonian refugees in Chad are women – many of whom are pregnant – and children. They found refuge in N'Djamena and in villages along the Chadian bank of the Logone River.
The causes of these clashes in the Far North of Cameroon are the result of the climate crisis. According to UNHCR, in recent decades, the surface of Lake Chad – of which the Logone River is the main tributary – has shrunk by 95 percent. Fishermen and farmers dug large trenches to hold the remaining water from the river so they could fish and farm. But muddy trenches trap and sometimes kill cattle belonging to herders, causing tension and fighting.
As a reminder, a first outbreak of intercommunal violence took place in August 2021. Inter-communal tensions left 45 people dead and 23,000 forcibly displaced, 8,500 of whom remained in Chad, according to data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.