At least 14 people were killed in a revenge attack by Chadian herders after a farmer killed a herder in the far north of the Central African Republic, local officials said Tuesday.
“It all started with a dispute between a farmer and a herder who led his livestock into a field” near Tiri, the village’s mayor Ibrahim Senoussi told AFP.
“The herds devastated the field and the crops” and the herder was killed after the dispute turned violent, he said.
Francois Dieudonne Bata Wapi Yepi, the regional prefect, said the Chadian herders went on the rampage in reprisal, killing 14 people including women and children, torching 66 homes as well as granaries.
“Nearly 3,000 people fled,” he said, adding that the clash occurred last Thursday in the area some 700 kilometres (420 miles) north of the capital Bangui.
A medical source said two people who were seriously wounded were taken to a hospital in Ndele, some 80 kilometres from Tiri.
The two groups have a long and troubled history in the region, where weapons abound and violence often flares after cattle destroy crops.
“We can’t keep allowing foreigners to come and kill Central Africans on their land,” the prefect said.
He added that CAR army soldiers would be deployed to secure the border with Chad, which has been closed since 2014.
Bilateral relations have been strained in recent weeks.
In late May, the Chadian government alleged that CAR soldiers attacked a military post within Chad, killing a soldier and abducting five others, later “executing” them in CAR.
UN sources said the fighting was between CAR troops and Russian paramilitary allies on one side and Chadian soldiers on the other.
Bangui has repeatedly accused Chad of supporting armed groups in CAR.