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Commission plans return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon



Refugees and stateless persons. Photo Source:
Refugees and stateless persons. Photo Source:

By Arowona Abdulazeez

The‎ Nigeria, Cameroon Tripartite Commission is planning for the safe repatriation and reintegration of 58,000 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.

A communique issued at the end of its inaugural meeting on Thursday in Abuja, emphasised that such repatriation should be safe and dignified

The Tripartite Commission is comprised of Nigeria, Cameroon and the UNHCR,

It is meant to ensure the voluntary and dignified return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon in line with international best practice.

The Communique was read by Hajia Sadiya Farouq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) and representatives of Nigeria, Cameroon government and the UNHCR.

“The Commission directed the Technical Working Group to conclude concrete operational modalities and‎ support measures, including setting timetable and procedures to ensure the safe, dignified, voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.”

The Commission also directed the Technical W‎orking Group to develop a phased-approach for organised return of the refugees based on the security situation in the North-east.

It also stressed the need for various bilateral and multilateral development partners to raise the necessary funds to facilitate the repatriation and restoration programme.

Earlier, the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, expressed joy at the inauguration of the Commission as it will bring succour to the refugees.
“I am very delighted and honoured to be here today to inaugurate the meeting of Tripartite Commission for the implementation of the Tripartite Agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon.

”It could be recalled that it was in June 2016 at this venue the agreement was drafted by Nigeria, Cameroon and the UNHCR along with other stakeholders.

”However, we have not been able to implement the agreement, more than 12 months after it was drafted and over four months after it was signed on March 2, 2017 in Yaounde,” he said.

The communique was signed by Dambazau; Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Cameroon, Mr Rene Sadi; and‎ the UNHCR representative in Nigeria, Mr Antonio Canhandula.

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