Cameroun’s Deportation Of Nigerian Refugees Worrisome – Dabiri-Erewa

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has described the alleged forceful deportation of over 100,000 Nigerian asylum seekers by Cameroonian military as worrisome and disturbing.

Dabiri-Erewa in a statement on Friday decried the inhuman treatment meted out to Nigerian asylum seekers who were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

She said despite the friendly disposition between the two countries, the alleged deportation of Nigerians was disturbing and calls for concern.

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The Presidential aide said Cameroon should heed the UN’s call on all countries to protect refugees fleeing the carnage in the North-East Nigeria and not to return them there.

“This unfriendly attitude of the Cameroonian soldiers to Nigerian asylum seekers is really worrisome,’’ Dabiri-Erewa said as she appealed to ECOWAS and other West African regional groups to prevail on Cameroon to be their brothers’ keeper in a situation like this.

The deportations, according to Human Rights Watch, defy the UN refugee agency’s plea not to return anyone to North-East Nigeria until the security and human rights situation has improved considerably.

Presidency Refutes Mass Starvation Claims By Aid Agencies

Presidency Refutes Mass Starvation Claims By Aid AgenciesThe Presidency has refuted claims by some aid agencies that there is mass starvation in IDP camps set up in northeast Nigeria.

A statement from the Presidency says it is concerned about the attempts to whip up fears that the humanitarian crisis is worse than being reported.

While it recognizes that local and international humanitarian responders including the United Nations have done an immeasurable amount of effort filling in the gaps wherever they existed, the federal government says it is not true that 100,000 or even a million people will die because government is unable to provide care at the camps.

The Presidency says it is handling the situation with great sensitivity and has put measures in place to cushion the humanitarian challenges with collaboration between NEMA and the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative.

Both organisations provide raw food items to IDPs at formal camps, self-settled centers, host communities and satellite centers while the state governments complement with condiments, firewood and maintain environmental quality of the IDP camps.

Nigerian Refugees In Cameroon Get Food Aid From NEMA

nema-vists-nigerian-refugees-in-camerounAbout 80,709 Nigerian refugees, mostly from Borno State, in the Republic of Cameroon, have received 1,460 bags of assorted food items from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The items, which were delivered at the weekend, were handed over to the displaced persons on behalf of the Nigerian government for the feeding of the refugees displaced by Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s northeast.

They are taking shelter in Minawao and other locations in the far north region of Cameroon.

According to the Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sidi, who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore SBB Muhammad, handed over the items to officials of Cameroon for onward presentation to the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) which has been managing the camp.

He said the items were meant to provide succour to the Nigerian refugees.

Bags of food items delivered to the refugees

In his message, the Director General said NEMA would continue to liaise with the Government of the Republic of Cameroon to ensure that all Nigerian refugees were living in good condition.

Mr Muhammed appealed to youths in the camps to desist from using drugs and urged them to always “be of good character and be good ambassadors of our country”. Some youths in the camp were recently arrested for drug use.

He assured the refugees that the Nigerian government had not forgotten them and that the government was doing everything possible to evacuate them back to their respective states.

The NEMA boss also thanked the Republic of Cameroon, INGOs and UNHCR on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria for hosting and providing them with protection.

Speaking through an interpreter, an official of the Government of Cameroon, who received the items, Mrs Menguene Marie, appreciated the Nigerian government for providing succour to its citizens and also thanked the government of Cameroon for its support to the refugees.

NEMA officials and Cameroonian officials taking stock of items delivered

Appreciating the efforts of the Nigerian Government, Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Refugees, Mr Asshigar Mohd, from Bama Local Government, said: “We have been in Minawao camp for three years, we do have regular feeding, have school and hospital, but we want leaders of our communities back home to visit us”.

He appealed to the Nigerian government to evacuate them to their places in Borno State since peace had returned in most of the communities.

The items delivered include 650 bags of rice, 300 bags of Guinea corn, 200 bags of Millet, 150 bags of Beans, 10 bags of Ground nut, 50 bags of flour, 50 bags of sugar and 50 bags of salt.

Others include 100 cartons of tinned tomato, 50 cartons of Maggi Cubes, 150 cartons of spaghetti, 150 cartons of bath soap and 50 cartons of vegetable oil.

‘Provided With Humanitarian Relief’

At least 239,000 Nigerians are still refugees in neighbouring countries where they fled to in the heat of insurgency in the oil-rich nation’s northeast, an emergency management agency has said.

The figure was contained in a report of humanitarian relief intervention by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) released recently.

It also says that about 29, 581 Nigerians, who fled their communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to Republic of Niger and Cameroon as a result of insurgents’ activities had voluntarily returned to Nigeria.

According to the report, 13,046 Nigerians returned from Niger Republic in May, 2015 and were received in Geidam, Yobe State while Between April and December, 2015 NEMA received about 16,595 Nigerians that have voluntarily returned from Cameroon through the Sahuda border crossing area near Mubi in Adamawa State.

FG Compiling Data On IDPs To Quicken Resettlement – Buhari

IDPs ResettlementPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja said his administration has begun the process of putting together comprehensive data on all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Nigerian refugees with a view to speeding up their resettlement.

President Buhari said this while receiving the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Samantha Power, at the Presidential Villa.

He said that the compilation of reliable data on the IDPs and refugees was being handled by designated Federal Government agencies, the military and other security agencies.

‘‘We have frightening indices of the number of people and the situation in the IDP camps across the country. And in spite of the government’s efforts and the hospitality of individuals and organizations, the situation needs better handling.

‘‘A large segment of the IDPs are mostly women and children. Some of the children are orphaned and don’t know where they came from.

“Now we are working on getting a comprehensive data of all the people in the camps so that the government and NGOs will be properly briefed on where and how to support them,’’ he said.

The President said that IDPs, who were into farming before they were displaced by the Boko Haram, would be mobilized and assisted by the Ministry of Agriculture to return to their farms.

Ambassador Power commended the Federal Government for always being the first and highest responder to the IDPs in various camps in the country.

Power, who had earlier visited Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, said that the situation in the camps could be improved with more information on the number of people in the camps and their areas of need.

Chad Seeks Aid For Refugees Who Fled Boko Haram Attacks

ChadThe Prime Minister of Chad is appealing for international aid for thousands of Nigerian refugees who have fled attacks by the militants across the border into the lake Chad region.

Prime Minister Kalzeubet Pahimi said that about 2,000 Nigerians and 500 Chadians crossed the border into Chad in recent days, joining around 1,000 Nigerians who arrived some months ago .

The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) added that the Chadian Red Cross and other groups conducted an evaluation mission during the week to the area where the refugees are located and distributed supplies including soap, tarpaulins, biscuits and jerry cans.

The Unhcr puts the total figure of Nigerian refugees in Chad at more than 5,000.