By Our Correspondent
No fewer than 270 Nigerian refugees who are on forced return from Cameroon, are to be received by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Yola, officials said.
Since the Cameroonian government’s backtracking on a tripartite agreement signed early this year which sought to facilitate voluntary return of Nigerian refugees when conditions were conducive, thousands of refugees have left the central African country and arrived parts of Borno State in the past few weeks.
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) had in February midwifed the tripartite accord between Nigeria and Cameroon.
The UNHCR had however in March this year expressed concerns that the forced return 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”.
The Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, had last week lamented that “the Cameroonian authority has not been honourable in keeping the agreement signed with Nigeria and UNHCR on our people in their country”.
NEMA Zonal operational office in Yola said it had already put all the necessary logistics in place to ensure a hitch-free reception of the returnee 270 refugees.
The Public Relations Officer of NEMA, Hafeez Mohammed Bello, said “the returnees from the Republic of Cameroon will cross into Nigeria through Sahuda Border,” he said, adding that the returnees will be received at Burn Bricks Transit Camp in Mubi south Local Government Area of Adamawa State”.
He said those largely being returned include elderly persons, women and children who are adequately screened for security and health reasons.