AFRICA/CHAD - "Where do the weapons come from?". The unsettling questions of Catholic associations and movements on the recent massacres in southern Chad

Saturday, 20 May 2023 massacres   local churches  

Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) - "We demand an immediate end to the massacres and greater security for the populations of the whole country", says the Union of Catholic Lay Movements and Associations of Chad (Umalect, which brings together 11 organizations) in a declaration to the Chadian Episcopal Conference, at the end of a plenary session held on May 18, during which the recent massacres in Logon Oriental, in the south of the country, were discussed.
The last one took place on March 17 in the village of Makate, canton of Andoum, sub-prefecture of Laramanye, with a provisional toll of 11 dead and 10 injured. On May 8, 17 people, including an infant, were killed and several injured during an attack on a village in Beka sub-prefecture.
In support of the victims of the massacres in the province of Logone Oriental, a moment of prayer was organized yesterday, May 19, in the Isidore Bakanja parish of Walia Goré, in the 9th district of N'Djamena,
The massacres are usually described as the result of clashes between herders and farmers, but according to Umalect, such conflicts are very rare. "We are in the presence of an instrumentalization of local conflicts to allow foreigners to dominate the natives", indicated the spokesman of Umalect, Saturnin Kouma Kossi, who wonders "where do the weapons
regularly used by farmers during the massacres come from when the last disarmament operation dates back to a few months ago?".
On May 16, the Chadian government announced the killing of "a dozen bandits" (who are believed to be responsible for certain assaults in Logone Orientale) in the Central African Republic, during a joint operation between the Chadian and Central African armies. This is an unexpected development given that Chad and the Central African Republic accuse each other of hosting and supporting the movements of their respective rebellions on their borders. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/5/2023)