14 Feared Dead in Herders, Farmers Conflict in C.A.R

Antibalaka fighters walk in Gambo, southeast Central African Republic, on August 16, 2017. Antibalaka fighters fought against a Seleka militia to chase them out of Gambo in early August. They say that they are now hundreds in town, with most of the civilians have fled to escape the battles. / AFP PHOTO / ALEXIS HUGUET

Not less than 14 persons have been killed in clashes between herders and farmers in northeastern Central African Republic, near the border with Chad which has been plagued by deadly conflicts between these communities.

According to eyewitness, Ibrahim Senoussi “it all started from a misunderstanding between a farmer and a herder who brought his cattle to a field in Tiri, the herds devastated the field and the crops and that led to the death of the herder when a violent dispute ensued.”

“In retaliation, the herders, who came from Chad, killed 14 people, including women and children. They burned more than 66 houses and granaries. Nearly 3,000 people fled their villages,” said François Dieudonné Bata Wapi Yepi, prefect of the Bamingui-Bangoran region.

According to a medical source on the spot, two seriously wounded were taken to the hospital in Ndélé, about 80 kilometers from Tiri.

The farmers accuse the herders of damaging their fields by grazing their animals. “We cannot continue to let foreigners come and kill Central Africans on their land,” said the region’s prefect, adding that soldiers from the Central African Armed Forces (Faca) would be deployed to secure the border between the Central African Republic and Chad, which has been closed since 2014.

Conflicts between farmers and herders are recurrent in the region.

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