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“We are starving in Cameroon”-Nigerian refugees

refugees fleeing terrorists attack (c) All rights reserved

Nigerian refugees have said they are not getting enough food in Cameroon.

The statement recorded by a UN official at the Minawao Camp in Cameroon, was made by a representative of the over 200,000 Nigerians displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.

In the recorded tape, the Nigerian refugees’ representative reportedly called on the government to quicken the process for their return to their communities so they could put back the pieces of their lives.

“We are hungry, we don’t get enough food to eat; Nigeria has forgotten us here, we wish to come back home even if they would not give us food. We prefer to be back on Nigerian soil without food,” she said in Hausa.

The revelation comes few days after another Nigerian refugee, Hussaini Hassan, claimed Cameroon gendarmes forced Nigerian refugees to leave the Futokol refugee camp.

Hassan who had spoken on behalf of the Nigerian refugees recently evacuated to Nigeria, told Pulse news that they had fled Nigeria to Cameroon when Boko Haram terrorists attacked their villages and had remained in the country since then.

“Since we put our legs into Nigeria, we breathed air of freedom and sense of belonging because the way and manner Nigerian security, NEMA among others, received us at the border; we feel we are safe and at home,’’ Hassan said.

Going by Antonio Cahandula, UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, refugees are not happy with their dependency on the UN agencies for their needs.

“The refugees are not happy depending on humanitarian assistance, they want to come back. Nigeria should improve reception conditions in anticipation of returns by the refugees,”

The UN agency chief said there was also a need to strengthen information exchange between Nigeria and Cameroon.

Cahandula however stated that the World Food Programme was doing its best in prioritising Nigerian refugees over Central African Republic refugees whose food rations had been reduced by 50 per cent due to low budget.

Published on 28.04.2020

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