22 dead, 3 000 displaced in Madagascar cattle wars

2014-05-14 20:49
A child guards zebus in Anja, southern Madagascar. (Andreea Campanu, AFP)

A child guards zebus in Anja, southern Madagascar. (Andreea Campanu, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Antananarivo - Twenty-two people have been killed and hundreds of houses destroyed in violence sparked by cattle rustling in the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar, a government agency said on Wednesday.

About 275 homes were razed and 3 000 people forced to flee during a week of unrest in the south of the country, the National Bureau for Risk and Disaster Management said.

The violence was linked to widespread theft of prized zebu humped cattle, which sparked clashes between gangs of cattle thieves, known as "dahalos," villagers and the army.

A symbol of wealth, zebu are at the heart of local culture in the south of Madagascar, where they are eaten only at weddings or special celebrations, sacrificed for ancestor worship or in burial rituals.

"We're doing all we can to help those displaced," the agency said, adding that it was working in collaboration with the Red Cross aid agency to provide shelter and basic provisions.

Fatalities are common in Madagascar's zebu wars, which have fuelled inter-communal violence. The army has also been accused of carrying out extra-judicial killings and razing villages that are suspected of sheltering cattle rustlers.

Several security personnel have been killed.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    madagascar  |  southern africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks up to No 4 in rankings
Hooper cited over shoulder charge
Last chance for Paige to play?
WATCH: Maradona dances with Los Pumas in the changeroom
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.