Bloodshed in Chad as herder-farmer clashes claim 23 lives

Clashes between herders and farmers in southern Chad have left a grim toll, with at least 23 lives lost.

The conflict, fueled by longstanding land disputes, unfolded over the course of seven harrowing days, underscoring the deep-seated tensions gripping the region.

Chad’s Communications Minister, Abdraman Koulamallah, disclosed to AFP on Monday the grim aftermath of the clashes that ravaged the fertile region of Moyen-Chari. Triggered by what was described as the “assassination” of a nomadic Arab-speaking herder, the conflict spiraled into a cycle of vengeance and bloodshed.

The violence, which erupted between March 17 and 21, engulfed three villages in Moyen-Chari, as relatives and clan members of the slain herder launched a retaliatory raid on the village they believed to be responsible for the fatal ambush.

The toll of the clashes was devastatingly heavy, with nine casualties among the Arab herders and 14 among the local Sara-Kaba community, including women and children. The minister revealed that calm had finally been restored, yet the scars of loss and anguish lingered among the shattered communities.

Efforts to bring justice to the perpetrators are underway, with 21 individuals already apprehended as investigations intensify to identify all those involved in the heinous crimes. The authorities are committed to holding accountable not only the direct perpetrators but also those who facilitated or supported the violence.

The clashes in Chad are a stark reminder of the recurring strife that plagues regions where pastoralist and agriculturalist communities coexist. Rooted in disputes over land use and resource access, these conflicts often escalate into deadly confrontations, leaving communities shattered and lives shattered.

Beyond Chad’s borders, similar tensions simmer in neighboring countries like Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Nigeria, where fertile lands meet the arid expanses of the Sahel.

The echoes of ancestral disputes resonate across these regions, amplifying the urgent need for sustainable solutions to address the root causes of conflict.

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