12 feared killed, 18 hospitalised in Cross River communal clash

10:00 Dec 20 2019 Cross River State

At least 12 persons were feared killed and 18 others hospitalized on Thursday the 19th of December 2019 following a communal clash between the Ebom and the Usumutong in the Abi Local Government Area of Cross River State.

It was gathered that the clash started around 5 am and resulted in the burning of several houses.

It was alleged that the Ebijakara people resident in Usumutong launched the attack on the Ebom.

An eyewitness alleged that the attackers were moving from house to house and hacking the victims.

A source said high calibre weapons were used by both sides, resulting in serious damage.

“The attack was launched by the Ebijakara people and unless the government takes the initiative of resettling these people, it will be difficult to stop the recurring conflicts in the area,” a source stated.

Some months ago, the Usumutong allegedly attacked the Ebom community and killed a farmer and his son, while the grandson escaped with injuries.

The people of Ebijakara were sacked from their ancestral home by their Ebom neighbors in 2005 and they have been living in Usumutong as internally displaced persons since then.

A similar attack in December 2018 resulted in the burning of the palace of the traditional ruler of Usumutong, Solomon Osim Edward, and the country home of his brother, Air Vice Marshal Eko Osim (retd).

When contacted, the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Nkereuwem Akpan, confirmed the incident but noted that he did not have the casualty figure and the number of houses razed.

“You journalists should help end the crisis once and for all,” he said, adding that policemen had been deployed in the affected communities.

Akpan called for dialogue between the warring communities in order to end communal conflicts in the state.
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