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Based on a case study carried out in the town of Kousseri, located in the southern zone of the basin of Lake Chad in Cameroon, we identified the symptomatic elements of issues inherent to inter-community conflicts:
1. Using a psycho-sociological approach allowed us to bring to light three categories of variables which validate our hypotheses, and that explain the emergence of frustrations carrying a high risk of bringing about violent conflict:
2. Previous conflicts have left the social body wounded and broken. The two communities involved, the Kotoko and Choa Arabs, are separated at worst by hate and at best by suspicion when compelled to live together in the same spaces. To use an image from Simmel , we find ourselves on the bridge linking peace and conflict.
3. This forced proximity takes place in a context where reconciliation is far from having a solid foundation, and therefore creates over-sensitivity to conflicts that oppose individuals of the two communities.
4. It is the general opinion of those encountered during the research that the slightest altercation between individuals belonging to the two communities can, in certain circumstances, be instrumentalised, amplified and propagated. In this kind of scenario a conflict can spread through neighbourhoods like bush fire, by means of rumours stirring up emotions, and with the result that altercations can quickly develop into a riot with unpredictable consequences. The physical dimension of the confrontation catalyses strong solidarity in this type of context where the enemy is already designated.
5. According to the well established paradigm we can see that one of the major characteristics of the collective transition to direct violence is to always “simplify”: to exacerbate the gap between enemy and friend and between the in-group and the out-group relative to which the protesting group compares its situation and defines its frustrations. The inevitable consequence of this can be summarised through the redoubtable order to ‘pick a side’ [[See Philippe Braud, “La violence politique : repères et problèmes “, Cultures & Conflits
 Simmel Georg, Sociologie. Etudes sur les formes de socialisation, Paris, PUF, 1999.