Cameroon last week started deporting Nigerians living in the country’s Far North region accusing them of supporting Boko Haram.
We initially pleaded with the Cameroonian officials to give us a grace period of some days, but we were put in trucks
According to Midjiyawa Bakary, governor of the Far North region, the Cameroon government deported Nigerians who said they were refugees but were not staying at camps and lacked identification papers.
“In the different villages there is a certain population of foreigners and they are hiding behind some Cameroonians and hiding those Boko Haram suspects,” Midjiyawa Bakary said.
Some reports claim women, children and men were taken across the border to the Nigerian town of Mubi.
Some of the Nigerians claimed they were not given a chance to round up their business in Cameroon before the expulsions.
“It was a terrible journey. We spent almost six days on the road. We initially pleaded with the Cameroonian officials to give us a grace period of some days, but we were put in trucks,” Musa Kawuri, a 52-year-old trader, told reporters in Nigeria.
According to the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency chairman Haruna Hamman, everyone who was expelled would be sent to Yola, Adamawa’s state capital.
“Their condition is good. But some refugees said that several people died during their hike to the border,” said Sa’ad Bello, the National Emergency Management Agency’s camps coordinator in Adamawa.
About 12,000 Nigerians are expected to arrive from Cameroon, this week.
Boko Haram intermittently crosses the border into Cameroon to launch terror attacks.
The Cameroon army joined forces with the Nigerian military to combat the extremist group.
According to reports, Boko Haram has taken advantage of the refugee situation in Cameroon to sneak into the country and carry out attacks.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees said a camp in Cameroon’s Far North Region now hosts about 44,000 people and estimates there are 12,000 unregistered refugees in the region.
On Monday, suspected Boko Haram fighters disguised as refugees were arrested with explosives hidden in their luggage in the same region.
Hundreds of other Cameroonians and Nigerians accused of collaborating with Boko Haram have also been arrested.
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