By Aurore Bonny
DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - Authorities in Chad visited the locality of Tyo on the outskirts of the town of Abeche in Chad's Ouaddai province, where seven people died over the weekend in intercommunal clashes, local authorities said Monday.
"A land dispute" between farmers and breeders is at the root of the conflict, according to Mahamat Saleh Ahmat Adam, the mayor of Abeche.
Seven people died and several were wounded while weapons of war were used, the governor of Ouaddai province, Ahmat Dari Basine, told Anadolu Agency by phone.
"Faced with this barbarity of another time, the government dispatched the ministers in charge of justice, defense, security and territorial administration to take all the necessary measures so that the criminals at the origin of this bloodbath are severely punished in accordance with the law,” Chadian Transitional Military Council President Mahamat Idriss Deby said on Twitter.
Intercommunal conflicts in eastern Chad are recurrent between farmers and breeders who either fight over land to carry out their activities or engage in fights when cattle destroy plantations.
In August this year, local media reported more than 20 deaths as a result of these conflicts.
A study by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published in the same period indicated that the human toll from the consequences of transhumance and inter-community tensions in Chad is already “particularly heavy.”
"The clashes have reportedly left 309 people dead and 182 injured, displaced more than 6,500 people, led to the destruction of property and livelihoods, and caused very high tensions between communities," OCHA reported.
It noted that the main reasons for inter-community tensions are 49% for access to economic resources, 21% for access to land and 11% for access to services.
"Access to humanitarian aid at 4%” was also identified as a source of conflict, due to a “lack of transparency or sufficient communication targeting the affected population," the UN office added.
It also identified causes related to the scarcity of natural resources due to natural disasters as well as climate change that has altered the routes and periods of livestock transhumance.
Identifying long-term solutions to meet the needs of the general population in terms of availability and access to natural resources and services is, according to the UN, an imperative to end these conflicts.