The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, had disclosed that thousands of Cameroonians from the restive Anglophone region continue to flee into neighbouring Nigeria.
UNHCR said on Tuesday that it had recorded 2,000 Cameroonians and were expecting an even greater number of refugees.
The agency said it was planning to help up to 40,000 people fleeing violence from Cameroon’s North West and South West regions. A spokesperson, Babar Baloch, added that UNHCR was working with Nigerian authorities to scale up assistance.
We will respect human rights but wont allow the migrants to spoil our security situation. We will treat them with dignity. The Cameroonian government has done the same for us during the Boko Haram crisis.
#UNHCR works w/ authorities & partners in Nigeria readying aid for up to 40,000 people crossing from Cameroon -maybe a conservative figure— UNHCR News (@RefugeesMedia) October 31, 2017
About a week ago, Nigeria authorities reported having received about 300 Cameroonians who registered as refugees after entering via the Nfum border of the southeastern Cross River State.
The head of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede was quoted as stressing that they were ready to ensure the safety of the refugees.
“We will respect human rights but wont allow the migrants to spoil our security situation. We will treat them with dignity. The Cameroonian government has done the same for us during the Boko Haram crisis,” he said.
Cameroonians in the Anglophone regions continue to push for secession from the Central African nation. President Paul Biya has reiterated that the unity of Cameroon remained non-negotiable and called for dialogue whiles condemning the deadly clashes.
English speakers have long decried marginalization from the government and planned a symbolic independence declaration on October 1 under the Ambazonia republic banner. A security clampdown of the protests left several people dead, many injured and hundreds detained.
The United Nations, European Union and other international partners have called for dialogue and for the government to respect the rights of protesters.