UN Raps Cameroon Over Return of Refugees Fleeing Nigeria

Cameroon President Paul Biya.

Lagos: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has expressed alarm over reports of the forced return by Cameroon of several thousand refugees into violence-affected Borno State in northeast Nigeria.

This follows the forced return of 267 Nigerian refugees on January, 16.

They had crossed into Cameroon beginning 2014.

“This action was totally unexpected and puts lives of thousands of refugees at risk,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“I am appealing to Cameroon to continue its open door and hospitable policy and practices and halt immediately any more returns and to ensure full compliance with its refugee protection obligations under its own national legislation, as well as international law.”

An estimated 9,000 Nigerians recently fled across the border into Cameroon after militants attacked and ransacked the small border town of Rann in Nigeria’s Borno State. The militants went on a rampage by targeting military installations, civilians and humanitarian facilities. At least 14 people are reported killed.

Cameroon is currently home to more than 370,000 refugees, including some 100,000 from Nigeria.

Source: UNHCR