According to UNHCR Cameroon, the 4000 refugees from this first wave of voluntary returns have already been identified and listed. All are from Adamawa State in neighboring Nigeria. Most of them found refuge in Cameroon five years ago, fleeing the violence of the terrorist group Boko Haram. Supported by the Government of Cameroon, NGOs and UNHCR, they lived in Minawao camp.
However, they do not hide their desire to return to their native country. The jihadist group has been considerably weakened by the joint actions of the armies of the Lake Chad region, united in the Multinational Joint Task Force.
Accordingly, the necessary arrangements were made by the Cameroonian Government for a repatriation under good conditions, said the Governor of the Far North Region, during a meeting to refine the operation.
"Logistically and safely, all the resources have been mobilized to transport these refugees from Minawao Camp to the Maroua Salak International Airport with complete peace of mind. The aeronautical authority and the ADC have given their agreement in principle. The Prefect of Mayo-Tsanaga and the Sub-Prefect of Mokolo are hard at work and are working closely with UNHCR to allow the refugees to return with all their belongings, " Midjiyawa Bakari said.
As a reminder, it was in 2017 that the Cameroonian and Nigerian governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) signed a tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon. In particular, it provided for voluntary returns to begin on February 8, 2018.
According to recent data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Cameroon is home to more than 100,000 Nigerian refugees on its territory. At the beginning of February 2019, about 35,000 new refugees had crossed the border from the Rann region of Nigeria where Boko Haram had launched large-scale assaults.
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