Cameroon force 10,500 Nigerian refugees to return home
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, yesterday, said 10,500 of the 79,000 Nigerian refugees forced to flee their homes in Borno State to Cameroon by Boko Haram, in the last two years, have returned to borders town of Banki and Pulka.
Shettima announced this on Friday at the Government House, Maiduguri, when the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja paid a courtesy visit on the governor.
“These refugees were forced to return home by the Cameroonian government; and I am directing my deputy, Usman Durkwa, along with other top government officials, to Bama to provide basic needs and logistics to receive them from Banki and Pulka,” he said.
The refugees fled Nigeria in 2015 when Boko Haram attacked their communities in a bid to enforce Islamic Sharia system of government in their communities. Over 100,000 residents of the communities located in the border areas were displaced; forcing them to flee and seek refuge in Cameroon.
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) had in March expressed concerns that the forced returns of refugees from Cameroon; “have continued unabated despite the existence of an accord that allows the facilitation of voluntary return of Nigerian refugees when conditions were conducive.”
But Shettima expressed regret before the NEMA DG over the action of the Cameroonian authorities, stating that; “they had dishonored an earlier agreement reached with Nigerian and the UNHCR on the management of refugees.”
“The Cameroonian authorities have not been honorable in keeping the agreement signed with Nigeria and UNHCR on our people in their country,” Shettima said.