The Nigerian National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMIDP) has expressed concern over the ejection of Nigerian refugees by the government of Cameroon despite passionate appeals to Cameroon not to chase out the victims of Boko Haram attacks from Rann Local Government Area of Borno State.
In a statement issued Tuesday in Abuja, NCRMIDP Commissioner, Hajia Sadiya Umar noted: “It is highly regrettable and sad to note that despite the passionate appeal made by the Nigerian Authorities to the Government of Cameroon not to chase out the victims of Boko Haram attacks from Rann Local Government Area of Borno State, this appeal has been ignored.
“Information reaching us is that the Cameroonian Government has thrown out the displaced persons from Rann who ran into Cameroon for safety in total disregard for the appeal. And it’s a clear breach of the United Nations Charter and Convention on the protection of displaced persons which both countries endorsed,” Umar said.
According to her, the United Nations Convention on Refugees and its 167 Protocol states that no contracting state shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his or her life or freedom will be threatened on account of his or her race, religion or nationality membership of a particular social group or political opinion”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Jan.14, persistent attacks in Rann compelled residents of the area to run into Cameroon territories for their safety. The commissioner, however, noted that from the onset the Cameroon Government threatened to chase the Nigerian Refugees out. She said that the Nigerian Government had to remind its Cameroon counterpart of its obligation to the displaced Nigerians bearing in mind the UN convention.
“Unfortunately, today Cameroon Government has made good its earlier threat by throwing the Nigerian refugees back to the country in large number.” Umar also said that in due course, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs would take appropriate steps on the matter.
“Meanwhile, it is worthy of mention to state that Nigeria is currently hosting many Cameroonian refugees located at Cross River, Benue, Akwa-Ibom, Taraba states and some of them in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja since October 2017. And we continue to provide them with relief, care and maintenance items. This is a clear demonstration of our commitment to international community,” she said.