Not less than 887 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon have been brought back following a request from the Cameroonian government to Nigeria to aid their return.
On Wednesdday inn Abuja, the External Relations Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Nigeria, Mr Hanson Tamfu, said that the returned refugees had arrived in Nigeria’s border town with Cameroon, Banki.
The request, according to Tamfu, was caused by ear and suspicions of the Cameroonian authorities that there might be some elements of Boko Haram among the refugees.
“The returnees arrived in six trucks sent by Nigerian authorities following the meeting with the governor of the far north region of Cameroon on June 19.
“During the meeting, Nigeria was requested to cause the return of refugees, which the Cameroonian authority suspects may also compromise some elements of Boko Haram whose activities have increased tremendously in recent times.
“Consequently, the Borno State Emergency Management Agency on June 26 dispatched the buses to transport the refugees,’’ Tamfu said.
The current group of returnees, Tamfu said consisted of 233 females, 187 males, 236 girls, and 231 boys who had be inhabiting the host communities Kolofata, a far north region of Cameroon.
According to him, it was reported that majority of them did not have much in terms of personal effects but a few items in plastic sacks while some had come back empty handed.
UNHCR gave immediate response by providing wet feeding, Tamfu said, it also would contact the National Emergency Management Agency and the Borno SEMA to continue with food provision.
He said that more returnees had shown interest in leaving Minawowa Camp in Cameroon, adding that they were eager to return because of the media reports have the improvement of security back home.
After hearing the government’s decision to share food to all the Internally Displaced Persons in Borno, he said it had triggered their anxiousness to go back home.
The official registered returnees from Cameroon through Banki now stood at 19,257.