from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE – THERE is dismay over the decision by Cameroon to force 267 refugees fleeing renewed attacks by the Boko Haram terror sect in neighbouring Nigeria.
An estimated 9 000 Nigerians last week fled across the border after the Islamist militants attacked and ransacked the small border town of Rann in the Borno State.
The insurgents went on a rampage by targeting military installations, civilians and humanitarian facilities.
At least 14 people were killed.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it was thus alarmed by moves by Cameroon to expel the Nigerian refugees.
“This action was totally unexpected and puts lives of thousands of refugees at risk,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.
“I am appealing to Cameroon to continue its open door and hospitable policy and practices and halt immediately any more returns and to ensure full compliance with its refugee protection obligations under its own national legislation, as well as international law.”
Cameroon is currently home to more than 370 000 refugees.
Of these, 100 000 are from Nigeria.
Ironically hundreds of Cameroonians have fled to Nigeria after deadly clashes between the military and militants demanding independence of English-speaking regions from Cameroon.
Nigeria has previously deported some Cameroonians separatists that had sought refuge.
– CAJ News