Nomad cattle herders have killed five villagers in clashes that displaced 3 500 in the northern Batangafo region of the Central African Republic, a local security official said Thursday.

“The fighting between villagers and Peul herdsmen has lasted for three days in Batangafo and left five dead,” said a member of the paramilitary police who asked not to be named.

“These clashes have led to the displacement of more than 3 500 people who have set themselves up in the town of Batangafo itself (...) in search of possible housing and food. Since structures to take them in are nonexistent, the return of the rains could expose them to illness,” the source added.

“At the same time each year clashes break out between these communities, because of the presence of herds of cattle (...) which devastate crops. In reprisal, the local people slaughter several cattle, arousing the anger of the nomads,” a local administrative source said.

Earlier in May, at least three people were killed in similar circumstances at Bozoum in the northwest of the country. At the end of April, similar clashes left three herders dead in the Batangafo region. – Sapa-AFP