a year after the violence, reconciliation prevails

On a visit to the far north on Monday, September 19, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration handed over aid to victims of floods and clashes between Choas and Mousgoum Arabs. Tensions between these communities had reached their climax in 2021 in the Logone-et-Chari department. Violence had killed dozens and forced tens of thousands of residents to flee. Today, the situation has been partially remedied.

Jean Bosco Njock is project manager for the NGO Adelpa (Local Action for Participatory and Self-managed Development). To describe the atmosphere that prevails in Logone-Birni, a town on the Logone River which marks the border with Chad, he confides: “Life is resuming, but it is not fully resuming.”

The displaced who had fled last year’s violence and who come back have sometimes lost everything. The granaries were destroyed in the clashes and there is still “this wave of suspicion between tribes looking at each other”. The NGO Adelpa has resumed its activities in the area since May, when fear had left the sector desolate.

In this context, the visit on Monday, September 19, by Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Ndji, was important to reassure local communities, according to Mansour Adam Djibrin, publishing director of Échos du Logone-et-Chari newspaper and chairman of the department’s youth council. He notes that between Choas and Mousgoum Arabs, “if the silence is real, peace is always sought”.

In recent months, many consultations have taken place between traditional chiefs, religious, community leaders with the support of local administrative authorities. Residents who had fled the clashes are beginning to return home. But the victims of new floods may soon add to the ranks of the displaced, especially since the rainy season is not over.

Added to these challenges are the sporadic attacks that the department continues to suffer from Boko Haram, this time in its northwestern part, on the side of the Nigerian border.

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