Chad Crackdown Risks Worsening Tensions After Ethnic Violence

Chad crackdown risks worsening tensions after ethnic violence

N'Djamena, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Aug, 2019 ) :By deploying troops and sealing borders to try to quell ethnic clashes in eastern Chad, President Idriss Deby risks worsening tensions and economic fallout in a region that is already trigger-sensitive, analysts say.

Deby on Monday announced the deployment of 5,000 troops and declared a state of emergency in the provinces of Sila and Ouaddai, where dozens of people have been killed.

Tensions between indigenous settled farmers and nomadic Arab herders, often over access to grazing land and trampled crops, have simmered for years, sometimes erupting into clashes.

Visiting Sila, where an eruption of violence had claimed more than 50 lives earlier this month, Deby called for the disarming of all civilians and authorised the military to fire on troublemakers.

"If fighting persists between Arabs and (local) Ouaddaians ... you shoot 10 from each side to save the majority," he advised.

Lawmakers from the ruling party have welcomed the government's campaign to halt violence.

But rights activists and even some in the armed forces worry the mission may fail, lead to abuses or inflict economic damage that will further antagonise the rival communities.

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