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Water Scarcity in Cameroon Triggers Deadly Clashes

The UN refugee agency said that ethnic fighting in Cameroon for scarce resources has triggered a mass exodus of more than 30,000 refugees to neighboring Chad.

On December 5, a deadly clash broke out in Ouloumsa, a village on the border of Cameroon, after herders, fishermen, and farmers quarreled over water shortages. Violence then spread to neighboring villages, and hostile forces among the communities razed 10 villages to the ground.

The outcome

The UN refugee agency stated that 22 people have died and 30 have been seriously injured in the past six days. In addition, of the 30,000 refugees fleeing to Chad, women, and children make up the majority.

UNHCR spokesman Boris Cheshirkov said the situation remains unstable, forcing its agencies to temporarily suspend operations in the affected areas. He said that five staff members and colleagues who performed the assessment task have been transferred to N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.

Cheshirkov blamed climate change for the growing tension between farmers and fishermen in the community, and he said that climate change is getting worse.

“They rely on the water of the Logone River, which is one of the main tributaries of Lake Chad,” he said. “Lake Chad has been shrinking. In the past 60 years, it has lost 95% of its surface water. These communities rely on this water for living, fishing, growing crops, and caring for livestock. They can’t do that.”

Cheshirkov said that similar climate crises can be seen in many parts of the world-in the Sahel, northern Cameroon and East Africa, as well as in the dry corridors of Latin America and South Asia. He said that 90% of refugees come from hotspots with fragile climates.

He said that UNHCR and Cameroonian authorities have been leading reconciliation efforts to end inter-communal violence, adding that unless the root causes of the crisis are resolved, the situation may escalate.

There are nearly 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons in Chad and over 1.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons in Cameroon. The United Nations Refugee Agency said it has received a little more than half of the funds needed to carry out life-saving operations in the two countries.

with information from: https://www.voanews.com/a/scarce-resources-in-cameroon-trigger-deadly-clashes-mass-displacement-/6349525.html

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