Inter-community clashes broke out in Ouloumsa village after a dispute between herders, fishermen, and farmers over diminishing water resources.
On Friday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that clashes between communities have forced over 100,000 people to flee their homes in northern Cameroon since December 5.
"While over 85,000 people have fled to Chad in recent days, at least 15,000 Cameroonians left their homes but remain within their country," UNCHR Spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said, adding that the figures could be much higher given that humanitarian organizations cannot easy access to the area. So far, the violent clashes have caused at least 44 deaths and more than 100 injured.
The Government of Cameroon has deployed security forces to areas affected by intercommunal violence and is carrying out disarmament operations. Due to the difficulties in moving around the territory, UNHCR workers have not yet been able to assess the situation of the civilian population in the Logone Birni district, where the acts of violence began.
These inter-community clashes broke out in the village of Ouloumsa near the border with Chad, after a dispute between herders, fishermen, and farmers over diminishing water resources.
CHILD ABUSERS. Armed groups in #Cameroon’s #anglophone regions have attacked, kidnapped and threatened hundreds of school pupils in nearly five years of violence that has forced more than 230,000 #children to flee their homes. #childrensrights #Violence https://t.co/ic4StO193h pic.twitter.com/Szj7V0R5RU— Rights Corridor (@RightsCorridor) December 17, 2021
"The main reason that this tension has been breaking and getting worse is climate change, because they depend on the waters of the Logone river, which is one of main tributaries of Lake Chad," Saltmarsh said, explaining that his African lake "has been shrinking over six decades now. It has lost 95 per cent of its surface water.”
“The climate crisis is a human crisis... we’re seeing it in the Sahel, we’re seeing it in Far North Cameroon, we’re seeing it in East Africa, in the drought corridor of Latin America, we’re seeing it in South Asia, so many parts of the world where we have displaced communities. In fact, 90 per cent of refugees are coming from climate vulnerable hotspots,” the UNHCR pointed out.
In August, there was a similar wave of violence in the extreme north of Cameroon, with at least 45 dead and 23,000 displaced. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that this region is also affected by periodic incursions by non-state armed groups.