Cameroon Sends Back Over 500 Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram, UN Confirms

More than 500 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon's far north region have been forcibly repatriated, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has disclosed.

In the last two years, the Nigerian security forces and regional forces from Cameroon, Chad, and Niger have made important progress in pushing Boko Haram out of the towns and villages of northeast Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad Basin region. The UN agency also distanced itself from the operation.

The UN body said it planned to sign an agreement with Cameroon and Nigeria on 2 March for the voluntary return of 85,000 Nigerian refugees.

As of 17 February, more than 61,000 Nigerian refugees have been registered in the camp of Minawao (far north of Cameroon), but many others live outside the site, according to UNHCR.

Boko HaramThe four Boko Haram commanders were arrested late Monday, said Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi State.

"The Boko Haram insurgency targeting civilian populations has destroyed vital infrastructure, preventing people from accessing essential services, causing widespread trauma, suffering and displacement".

According to OCHA, the eight-year-long conflict has left some 8.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in the worst-affected states of Nigeria's north-east.

The United States Africa Command has announced a strong commitment to Nigeria in its battle against insurgency, as well as other countries of the Lake Chad basin. In the coming months, around 5.1 million people will face severe food insecurity in the region, where some 1.8 million people have been displaced and millions are exposed to violence and abuse.

  • Leroy Wright