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NASS Lawmakers decries forceful repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon

He said that Nigerians returning back from Cameroon were facing double displacement because they were presently staying at the internally displaced camps.

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National Assembly entrance

(Nigeria Real Estate Hub)

Rep. Sani Zorro, Chairman, House Committee on IDPs, Refugees and North-East Initiatives, on Monday, decried the forceful repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon.

Zorro said this when Volker Turk, the United Nation Humanitarian Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, visited the Minister of Interior in Abuja.

He said that Nigerians returning back from Cameroon were facing double displacement because they were presently staying at the internally displaced camps.

Zorro urged the UNHCR to investigate the reasons why the Nigerian refugees in Cameroon were repatriated back home and make this public and to make sure that Cameroon implemented the tripartite agreement.

He, however, said that the national assembly was ready to support the commission and the ministry in making sure that the present challenge was resolved.

“As you are aware, our refugees from Cameroon that are coming back to Nigeria continued to suffer double displacement.

“In the first instance, they were displaced and dispersed when they crossed over the border and upon their return they have found themselves again in internally displaced camps.

“This calls for very urgent humanitarian protection and assistance which the UNHCR always provide the expertise to manage such situation.

“We at the national assembly level, are always ready, willing and cannot wait to complement the efforts of the executive arms of government and UNHCR to resolve this case’’.

The chairman, however, commended the minister and the commissioner for their efforts in bringing a lasting solution towards the issue s of refugees and IDPs in the country.

“I commend the minister for hosting this session that is very crucial towards finding solutions to the refugees’ situation both in Nigeria and Cameroon.

“ I also commend the efforts of UNHCR who have continued to come to this region in other to explore lasting solution toward refugees and internally displaced persons. “

Also speaking, Hajiya Saiya Farouq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) appealed to UNCHR to find out what was happening in Cameroon.

She said that Nigeria had a signed agreement with the Cameroon government and has kept its part of the agreement, tasking Cameroon to implement their own part.

Farouq said that she hoped that the visit of the commissioner to Cameroon would bring a lasting solution to the present challenges.

“What is happening to our people in Cameroon and why they are flying back to Nigeria, as we have signed the agreement?

“We expect that the principle of the agreement should be respected by both parties; on our own part we have a capable leader.

“We are very disturbed by the situation and we hope that by your visit there, we will see some kind of improvement on the part of the Cameroon, “ she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of 19,257 Nigerians have returned from Cameroon. 

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