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How Cameroonian authorities, military forced us out of their country

April 19, 2017 2:18 PM
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How Cameroonian authorities, military forced us out of their country

Victims of Boko Haram taking refuge in Cameroon have decried the level dejection they get from the country's authorities and military.

Some of the Boko Haram victims of Nigerian nationality were asked to leave their refuge without prior notice or arrangement, international aid organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres has reported.

One of the Nigerian refugee in Banki (name withheld) told MSF that he had been living in Cameroon for more than a year since his displacement from his home in Nigeria.

“We had been living in Kolofata (Cameroon) for more than a year and one day they just decided to send people back to Nigeria without explanation,” the refugee said.

He added that himself and his fellow refugees never asked that Cameroonian authorities to send them back to Nigeria.

“We did not ask them to return us to our country: they forced us. We didn’t have a choice,” he said.

Confirming the refugee's claim, patients in Pulka said they were afraid of forcibly being asked to leave. gathered that over 11,300 people arrived Pulka, a border town close to Cameroon in January.

MSF in its report said the new arrivals pushed the number of refugees in the area to more than 42,000 - an increase one third of the town's population. - thereby stretching the needs of the relief material earmarked for the displaced persons.

The agency also said it had witnessed the forceful eviction of some Nigerian who had sought refuge by the Cameroonian military.

The agency added that, in Rann - a community mistakenly bombed by the Nigerian Air Force in January - records about 10,000 displaced persons within the past three months.

It also said the population of displaced persons in Dikwa another town in Borno state currently stands at 2,000.

The head of mission of MSF in Nigeria Himedan Mohammed said the large movement of people continue everyday due to attacks by insurgency in the North East region of Nigeria.

"The people who arrive in the bigger towns of Pulka, Rann or Dikwa are mostly from areas inaccessible to humanitarian organisations. They are vulnerable, often in a poor state of health, and almost entirely dependent on aid," Mohammed said.

They cannot sustain themselves because the movement restrictions enforced by the military make farming almost impossible," he said.

Also MSF's operational manager for Nigeria Gabriel Sánchez noted that there is an increased need for shelter, food and water for the displaced Nigerians.

He said: "These people face growing needs for shelter, food and water. If this is not addressed and people continue to arrive, the situation will quickly deteriorate even further.”

Silas Adamou, the agency's project coordinator in Rann said the people live on barely little or nothing to survive.

Adamou said: “They are living on only five litres of water per day in Rann and are forced to collect more from puddles.”

Recall that the Internal Displacement monitoring Centre has pegged that number of displaced Nigerians at 2,152,000 as at December 2015.

The IDMC said of the total figure, the assessment indicates that 12.6 per cent were displaced due to communal clashes, 2.4 per cent by natural disasters and 85 per cent as a result of insurgency attacks by Islamist attacks.

Also read: Army Chief, Buratai gives update on Nigeria’s security situation


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