At least 37 people have been killed in fighting this week between rival ethnic groups in Chad, President Idriss Deby said on Friday.
“The intercommunal conflict has become a national concern,” Deby said at a press conference to mark the country’s independence day.
“We are witnessing a terrible phenomenon.”
He said that in just three days, 37 people were killed in the eastern province of Ouaddie, a strategic area on the border with Sudan.
Eastern Chad is in the grip of a cycle of violence between nomadic camel herders – many from the Zaghawa ethnic group from which Deby hails – and sedentary farmers from the Ouaddian community.
Last month Deby, who has been in power for almost three decades, hinted that military courts may be reintroduced in a bid to curb the unrest, a suggestion denounced by the country’s opposition.