Women from the Far North region organized a march on December 27 in Maroua to demand an end to clashes between local communities.
Armed with banners and placards, nearly 600 women marched on December 27 in Maroua. It was to demand the return to peace in the departments of Logone and Chari and Mayo Danay. Gathered in the Women's Task Force for Peace, they hope for an end to inter-communal clashes.
According to the president of this association, Ai Jacqueline "this peaceful march signifies the cry of the heart of women in the face of the war that opposed the communities that had lived in harmony for centuries". In the same vein, they provided food support to idps. These are those housed at the Domayo sports complex in Maroua, in the department of Diamaré.
Indeed, there are nearly 15,000 internally displaced persons identified by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) who fled the bloody conflict between Choas Arabs and Mousgoums/Massa in the Far North region.
The scarcity of water resources at the origin of the dispute in this region of the Far North
Clashes initially broke out on 5 December in the border village of Ouloumsa following a dispute between herders, fishermen and farmers over the scarcity of water resources. The violence then spread to nearby villages.
On the ground, UNHCR, together with the authorities, other UN agencies and humanitarian partners, is deploying to provide life-saving assistance. The agency has declared a Level 2 emergency and is rapidly expanding its operations to help those affected in Cameroon and new refugees in Chad.
In addition, UNHCR teams are helping the Chadian government identify new accommodation sites further from the border to better protect refugees in line with international standards.
Difficulties in accessing safe drinking water and latrines
More broadly, refugees are in urgent need of shelter, blankets, mats and hygiene kits. Local communities host a few. However, most still sleep in the open air or under trees.
UNHCR and Médecins Sans Frontières have deployed mobile clinics in most refugee sites. Medical screening is ongoing and patients who need it are referred to national health facilities.
For their part, many internally displaced people report difficulties in finding safe drinking water and lack access to latrines.
In the face of this new humanitarian emergency, UNHCR is appealing for the support of the international community to help forcibly displaced people and reiterates its call for reconciliation to end the violence so that people can return home safely.
"We call for an immediate end to the violence and support from the international community to help the victims and refugees," Saltmarsh said.
Chad is home to nearly one million refugees and internally displaced persons, and Cameroon is home to more than 1.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons.