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Influx from Cameroon worsens Nigeria refugee crisis

Story from: CAJ News Africa

Cameroon refugees

Cameroon refugees

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) NIGERIA, which has a severe insurgency crisis, is bearing the brunt of refugees fleeing political problems in Cameroon.

At least 8 050 Cameroonians have fled to Nigeria, the West African country where over 2 million have fled terror by the Boko Haram.

Ironically, thousands of Nigerians have fled to Cameroon.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Nigeria face a formidable task providing a safe community environment for Cameroonian refugees and their host communities in Benue and Cross River States.

UNHCR’s immediate priority is to work together with the State Emergency Management is to create temporary camps, pending identification, with a long-term view to explore avenues that should allow refugees to live in host communities, gain access to opportunities where they can become more self-reliant and contribute to the local economy.

“As such, our recommendation is that the refugees should be moved away from the border per international standards,� said Antonio Jose Canhandula, UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and West Africa.

In the meantime, together with the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, UNHCR will continue biometric registration for new arrivals in Cross River and Benue.

Canhandula lauded Nigeria for the support shown so far to Cameroonian refugees.

“This is a critical life-saving measure for many that arrive empty handed,� he said at the conclusion of a fact-finding mission.

Cameroon is beset by tensions in English-speaking regions which cite marginalization by the government, which is dominated by French-speaking Cameroonians.

Security forces have killed scores of protesters.

– CAJ News




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