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Boko Haram: 13,000 Nigerian Refugees Run To Cameroon, Says UN
The United Nations Refugee Agency on Tuesday said attacks launched by Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria’s northeast have continued to send several thousands of refugees into neighboring Cameroon.
UN High Commissioner for Refugee, UNHCR, which urged Cameroon to keep its borders open to Nigerian refugees who are in need of international protection, said that about 13,000 refugees fled Adamawa State after terrorists unleashed serious violence and captured the town of Mubi in late October.
The refugees reportedly fled to the towns of Guider and Gashiga in the North region of Cameroon and to Bourha, Mogode and Boukoula in the far north.
Local authorities in Cameroon said majority of these 13,000 Nigerians have started returning to Nigeria, saying that their final destination was Yola, the capital of Adamawa state.
The Cameroonian authorities added that they aided the movements of the refugees and made available adequate security to ensure the safety of those moving through their territory.
A UNHCR team on Tuesday said that thousands of Nigerian refuges are now being accommodated at Girei in Gombe State and at the National Youth Service Corps camp in Yola, adding that newcomers were receiving aid from the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, the National Red Cross Society and the International Rescue Committee.
UNHCR said that many families were compeled to flee on foot with only a few of their belongings and walking several kilometres before finding shelter in Cameroon.
“We are also examining claims that some of these refugees may have been forced to return to Nigeria. We are seeking assurances from both Nigeria and Cameroon that the return of these people was done on a voluntary basis”. UNHCR said.
“Cameroon is hosting thousands of refugees from Nigeria and Central African Republic and we encourage Cameroon to continue with its policy of welcoming refugees,” UNHCR added.