In a bid to ensure the safety and dignified return of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon the federal government has signed a tripartite agreement with Cameroon and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the establishment of a Commission that will foster the implementation of the agreement drafted in June last year.
Speaking in Abuja at the inauguration of the tripartite commission for the implementation of the tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatration of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon, the Minister of Interior, Lt Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) explained that the agreement is premised on international and regional convention institutionalizing the rights of refugees by ensuring their return in dignified manner adding that it is the duty of the Tripartite Commission as provided in the agreement to drive the critical process that would bring the Agreement into force.
The minister said members of the commission were nominated in line with Article 23 of the agreement, adding that two members each are to represent the parties and their subtitles.
According to Dambazau, “the war against insurgency has been won through the joint efforts of our regional armies as well as support of the international community who also share in the attendant loss of unquantifiable human, material and financial resources”, he said.
Representative of Cameroon, Mr. Rene Emmanuel Sadi advocated that the areas liberated from the insurgents should be made viable for those who will eventually return voluntarily.
Also speaking, UNHCR country representative Antonio Jose Canhandula, reaffirmed his organization’s commitment to collaborate with the government of Nigeria and Cameroon to ensure the smooth implementation of the tripartite agreement. According to him in 2015, over 300,000 Nigerians who have been displaced from North-East Nigeria as a result of Boko-Haram insurgency have returned from Cameroon, Niger and Chad, adding that at the end of May this year there are 88,570 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon and a total of 10,448 returnees.
He beckoned on all parties to enhance the protection and render assistance to the returnees while finding lasting solutions to the humanitarian situation in the Northeast of Nigeria.