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The Inter-ethnic Conflict between the people of Babanki tungo and the Mbororo of Sabga

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Conflict Resolution
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International: $20
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Ethnic or inter-ethnic conflict refers to diputes between contending groups who identify themselves primarily on the basis of ethnic criteria and who makes group claims to resources on the basis of their collective rights. Ethic criteria may include perceptions of shared culture, nationality, language, religion and race. An ethnic group is a collective sharing of a belief of common ancestry, a link with a specific territory, a perception of a shared culture, and a belief in a common destiny. This belief in a common ancestry owes as much if not more myths than to genetics. To be sure, some ethnic communities from kinship ties, but to the greatest extent heritage is a function of belief and not genetic descent.

Inter-ethnic conflict is one of, if not the most glaring thing in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. Acts of inter-ehnic conflict occur on daily basis throughout the area of Sabga. Right thinking and sane natives are really concerned about this ugly trend. This paper digs into the causes of the inter-etnic conflict between the people of Babbnki tungo and the Mboro of Sabga, its socio-economic effects on the lives of the people and measures pput in place by authorities to resolve the conflict. The causes amongst so many include; Farmers graziers conflict, marginalization, poor communication, hatred and jealousy, identity. The effets are also reeuction of trade, disruption of social basic service delivery, food insecurity, insecurity, population displacement. And the measures put in placed are; the use of law and order, power sharing, the role of traditional rulers, promotion of religion, dialogue.



1.1 Background to Study

According to Kassof (2010:1). Ethnic diversity is one of the greatest pillars of any society worldwide. The variety and competition that comes with it is good for socio-economic growth. However, ethnic groups’ interests and competition for scarce resources among the different groups bring about ethnic highest level. Most countries especially in Africa have experienced a form of conflict that has an ethnic relation. These wars take an ethnic perspective even when the real cause could be land/natural resources, politics, religion, discrimination or unequal distribution of resources. Interethnic differences have caused a lot of destruction in many great nations. It is worrying to see the trends of this phenomenon in Africa and across the globe and it is important to discuss it. Africa has lost a lot of resources because of these ethnic differences in the last 50 years. It is ironic to say that before the start of colonialism, most countries in the continent were so united. Different communities that comprised people of different cultures lived close to each other and in different types of relationships. They intermarried, did business with each other, learnt from each other and respected each other’s way of life.  In the 20th century, ethnic hatred started creeping in and sparks of violence started showing up. Some communities have remained in conflict for over half a century now resulting from ethnic differences.  These differences open up  either because of resources, power, elections or border issues and cultural differences. However, ethnic diversity in itself is a good thing because it offers a variety of things in a country. This research seeks to understand the interethnic relations between the Mbororos of Sabga and the people of Babanki Tungo taking the Mbororo community of Sabga and the people of Babanki as case study,(Kassof 2010:1).

Historically, Cameroon is an example of ethnic diversity. It is made up of about 250 ethnic groups with different cultures and languages with each of them striving to survive its heritage (Minority Rights group, 2018). This has made it pretty difficult for the authorities to govern the territory. However, the government’s ability to effectively manage diversity through the promotion of unity in diversity by enacting laws and policies through education and seminars has helped quell tensions among ethnic groups. Some of these ethnic groups are either in the minority or majority making co-existence pretty difficult with frequent setbacks. The focus here is on the Fulani or those commonly referred to as the Mbororos.

 According to Jabiru (2002:3), the Mbororos just like the Hausas migrated from northern Nigeria in search of greener pastures and grazing grounds to feed their cattle. Around the first half of the 20thc the first Ardo by name Sabga led the earliest permanent group from Banyo through Foumban and Jakiri that settled on the Babanki Tungo  overlooking the Ndop plain now known as Sabga,(Jabiru2002:3).

 The were thirty Jafun herdsmen of Gosi clan who owned considerable herds of cattle. Having settled, they established trading links with the local population in which while the Mbororo men looked after their cattle, their women took care of domestic chores and children. From the first half of the 20th century, the Mbororo community has co-existed with the people of Babanki Tungo who had been the original settlers in the entire area. The interest of this research work is to understand inter- ethnic relations that exist between these two groups. Theoretically, sociological and anthropological theories that inform the phenomenon under investigation will be considered. Generally, theories explain phenomena and shed light supporting ideas to view points,(Jabiru2002:3).

According to Chilver, (1990:12), Fragments of this group are scattered over a large area. They appear to have moved their settlements frequently. The oral tradition of the Kedjom also points to dramatic events such as natural catastrophe around Lake Oku and dynastic disputes which led to the dispersal of a significant number of its population over a wide area. The Babanki people claim their princes founded the communities of Finge and Kedjom Ketinguh (Babanki Tungo) while another was awarded the Fonship of Bafut. These claims which are echoed in different forms in these communities form the basis for competition and struggles in the Mezam division of. The Babanki people are historically farmers who grow maize, yams, Beans and peanuts as staple crops. They also raise livestock including chicken and goats which play an important role in Daily sustenance. This study will focus on the people of Babanki Tungo also known as Kejom Ketinguh as seen above. The study seeks to understand inter-ethnic relations between the Mbororos of Sabga and the people of Babanki Tungo, paying attention to, Exchange of goods and services, intermarriage, Language of communication and social interactions,(Chiller 1990:12).

1.2 Statement of research problem

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