Eighteen people were killed and 20 others were wounded on Tuesday in clashes between cattle herders and farmers.
The clashes broke out near the village of Bangui along Niger’s southern border with Nigeria after livestock belonging to ethnic Fulani herders damaged the field of a farmer.
“The nomadic herders fought with a farmer, whom they wounded. He was taken to the medical centre and everything started from there,” said Oumarou Mohamane, Bangui’s mayor.
A group of farmers then attacked the Fulani camp in reprisal. Around 15 houses were burnt down.
“It required the intervention of the police to stop the villagers,” the mayor added.
Violent clashes between farmers and nomadic herders are a relatively common occurrence across West Africa, where there is competition over resources including land and water.