17 Dead in Attack on Chadian Village

An attack on a village by armed men in southern Chad, near the border with the Central African Republic, left 17 people dead, prosecutors announced Thursday on launching an investigation.

The “mass murder” happened in the early hours of Monday morning when “armed, unidentified individuals” attacked the village of Don in Logone Oriental province bordering CAR, around 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Chad’s capital N’Djamena, said prosecutor Nerambaye Ndoubamian in a statement.

The assailants, carrying firearms and knives, arrived on motorcycles and horses and “murdered more than a dozen villagers, set fire to huts, took oxen and left many wounded in their path,” the prosecutor said.

A total of 17 people were killed, including an infant, while others who were injured were taken to hospital.

The prosecutor announced it had opened an investigation on several counts, including murder, arson, and aggravated theft, and called for witnesses to come forward.

The villagers are mainly from the Kabba community, an ethnic group based in Chad and neighboring CAR, who are predominately Christian and farmers.

The head of the community in N’Djamena condemned Monday’s attack, saying the “cowardly, barbaric and despicable acts” were perpetrated “under the incompetent and complicit gaze of the administrative and military authorities” and called for local authorities to step down.

The same day, Chad’s episcopal conference said it was “shocked by the recurrence of intercommunity conflicts” in the south of the country.

Tensions between semi-nomadic Arab herders and farmers frequently arise in central and southern Chad, where many inhabitants are armed.

Farmers accuse herders of pillaging their land with their grazing animals.

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