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Clashes in Cameroon's north displace over 100,000 - U.N. agency

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By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">GENEVA</span> – Clashes between herders, fishermen and farmers in the far north of Cameroon have driven at least 100,000 people from their homes in the past two weeks, creating a humanitarian emergency, the United Nations refugee agency (<span class="caps">UNHCR</span>) said on Friday.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> estimated that more than 85,000 people had fled into neighbouring Chad in recent days, while at least 15,000 people had been forced to seek shelter within Cameroon.</p> <p>“Indications are that displacement into Chad has accelerated,” <span class="caps">UNHCR</span> spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh told reporters, adding that the agency and humanitarian partners were rushing to deliver life-saving assistance.</p> <p>Forty-four people have been killed in the fighting and 111 injured, Saltmarsh said. Chad is home to nearly a million refugees and internally displaced people.</p> <p>The vast majority of new arrivals into Chad were children, and 98% of the adults were women, Saltmarsh said, adding that refugees “are in dire need of shelter, blankets, mats and hygienic kits”. </p> <p>The clashes broke out in early December after disputes between herders, fishermen and farmers over dwindling water resources, the agency said, adding that climate change is exacerbating a competition for resources, especially water.</p> <p>“The surface of Lake Chad has decreased by as much as 95% in the past 60 years,” Saltmarsh said. “We’re calling for support from the international community to assist the forcibly displaced.”</p> <p/> </div>