The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has admonished the Cameroonian government not to forcefully send Nigeria IDPs in the country back to the Boko Haram violence from which they had fled.
UNHCR said, underscoring the need to accord international protection to those in need, as Nigeria refugees return back to Boko Haram Infested region of Nigeria from Cameroon despite warnings not to do so.
“We appeal once again to the authorities in Cameroon to refrain from further forced returns and to ensure protection to those fleeing insecurity and persecution in Nigeria.
“This is in accordance with Cameroon’s national and international obligations,” UNHCR said.
NAN reports that since the beginning of 2018, 385 Nigerians refugees and asylum-seekers had been forcibly returned from Cameroon, the majority of them in March, including 160 on April 10 and a further 118 a week later.
87,600 Nigerian refugees have been registered by the UN agency in Cameroon.
“The forced returns are in violation of the principle of no forced returns or non-refoulement.
“They are also a significant setback to progress previously achieved by Cameroon in granting asylum to Nigerian civilians fleeing Boko Haram violence”. UNHCR said.
“Properly functioning screening, registration and asylum systems help safeguard host country security,” it said.
UNHCR emphasized its support to the Government of Cameroon to ensure that all those seeking international protection have access to efficient screening and registration procedures, as well as appropriate reception arrangements.