Chad: Dozens Killed in Intercommunal Violence Over a Few Days

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Around forty people have been killed and dozens more injured since Saturday in clashes between antagonistic sedentary communities in the Ouaddaï province, located in the eastern part of the country. The minority Birgit community holds the chieftaincy of this canton predominantly populated by the Mouro, who feel marginalized.

It all began two years ago when a member of the Mouro community attempted to build a Quranic school in a village belonging to the Birgit community, which was met with refusal. This led to clashes resulting in three deaths at the time. This Saturday, the man returned to the village and visited his abandoned construction site, sparking violence as the Birgit community violently confronted him, though he managed to escape.

This individual then rallied members of his Mouro community, who organized a punitive expedition the following day. Armed to the teeth, dozens of men attacked the village of Tileguey, catching their “enemies” by surprise during prayer. A massacre ensued, with 27 people killed on the spot, while 12 injured were later evacuated to a nearby hospital, according to administrative and hospital sources on site.

175 people arrested

Manhunts proliferated between the two communities until Tuesday when the transitional government, seemingly realizing the severity of the violence, dispatched a strong delegation led by the Minister of Public Security himself, General Mahamat Charfadine Margui, to restore calm.

The latest update provided by the ministry’s website yesterday reported 42 casualties on both sides, along with numerous injuries. 175 individuals allegedly involved in the violence have been arrested, according to the same source.

A counselor from Ouaddaï, the term for transitional deputies, denounced “a major security lapse” when the violence erupted. “There were only three police officers, fifteen gendarmes, and about twenty nomadic guards present in the entire canton when all this violence broke out. They couldn’t do anything,” he lamented.


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