Nigeria: Nigeria, Cameroon, UN sign pact on voluntary return of Nigerian refugees

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The Nigerian government has signed a tripartite agreement with the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Cameroon for the return of Nigerian refugees who had fled Boko Haram attacks and are currently taking refuge in the Cameroon.

Under the agreement, the Nigerian refugees are to return voluntarily and in a dignified manner.

Director-General of the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Muhammad Sani-Sidi made this known when an African Union (AU) Humanitarian Mission led by Dr. Aisha Abdullahi, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, visited the the agency's headquarters in Abuja on Saturday.

He disclosed that, there were about 80,000 displaced Nigerians currently in Cameroon and that Nigerian government was making efforts to cater for all their basic needs when they return back.

Sani-Sidi said the Nigerian government and the states affected by the insurgency, UN agencies, national and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as the private sector had done a lot in the last four years to manage the large numbers of internally displaced persons in Nigeria's north-eastern region.

He also added: "We have now moved from the emergency response stage to recovery and resettlement of the IDPs."  

He however urged the visiting AU Commissioner to use her good offices to seek for more assistance and humanitarian support for the affected persons and the north-eastern states.

The Nigerian official also thanked development partners, UN agencies, and civil societies organizations for working tirelessly in supporting the IDPs and Nigeria government.

On her part, the AU Commissioner said they were in Nigeria to assess the situation of the IDPs and to discuss other areas of support, noting that, the AU was greatly concerned with the displaced Nigerians, as records available to AU showed that there were about 13 million displaced persons in the country, and 3 million refugees in neighouring countries.

She commended the efforts of the Nigerian government, its security outfits and the multinational military forces for containing the activities of the insurgents in the country's northeast  and the countries in the Lake Chad region.

She also said with the large number of displaced persons living in the IPFs' camps, the AU will continue to give more attention to the issues of displacement through interaction and focus on addressing the root causes of conflict and violence in Africa.
-0- PANA MON/AA 12June2016

12 june 2016 18:02:44

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