The Consul-General of the Republic of Cameroon in Lagos, Dr Paul Ekorong a’Dong, on Monday said that his government had no intention to repatriate Nigerian refugees currently in various camps in Cameroon.
Ekorong a Dong told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it would be unfair for the Cameroonian government to repatriate those Nigerians that had fled to Cameroon for safety.
The Consul-General said that his government would continue to respect the existing strong regional cooperation between Nigeria and Cameroon, and would, therefore, not treat the Nigerians badly.
"Let me say without hesitation that the rumour that the Cameroonian government plans to repatriate Nigerian refugees is completely wrong.
"What my government and the Nigerian government are jointly working on is to find a lasting solution to how best to bring them back and get them re-integrated into their communities.
"So, we do not see this as any kind of repatriation. Repatriation has to do with the deportation of people.
"But this is not the case because our two governments are already discussing on the most appropriate process for them to return to their communities,’’ he said.
Ekorong a’Dong said that the Nigerian Minister of Interior had recently visited Cameroon and had fruitful discussions with his Cameroonian counterpart and the Prime Minister on the issue of the refugees.
The Envoy, who said that some of the refugees had started returning on their own to their communities in Nigeria, added that his government had not requested the refugees to leave.
"The Nigerian and Cameroonian governments are still working on the appropriate measures and solutions for bringing back those who are eager to return to their communities.
"We are looking at a situation where those who still want to stay in Cameroon can stay, and those who want to return to their communities are able do so at their will. We are not forcing any of them to leave,’’ he said.
Ekorong a’Dong added that his government would continue to cater for the 6,000 Nigerian refugees currently in its established camps, until both countries are able to conclude their plans.