The UNHCR Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Antonio Jose Canhandula recently conducted a fact-finding mission to the various refugee camps hosting Ambazonians in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Cameroon Concord News gathered that Mr. Antonio Jose made public a new UN plan to move all Southern Cameroons refugees further away from the Cameroonian border.
The decision that was taken on Thursday, 11 January 2018 by the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nigeria and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Antonio Jose Canhandula has been welcomed by the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia.
“We are committed to working with the Government of Nigeria to ensure a safe community environment for Cameroonian refugees and their host communities in the Benue and Cross River states,” said Antonio Canhandula. UNHCR. “As such, our recommendation is that refugees should be removed from the border according to international standards,” he added.
UNHCR plans to set up temporary camps, “with a long-term vision to explore avenues that should allow refugees to live in host communities, to access opportunities where they can become more self-reliant and contribute to local economy of the host communities.
The UN body notes that since October 2017, refugees continue to arrive in the state of Cross River. “With regard to the number of Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria, the UNHCR representative noted that 8,050 refugees have been registered, mainly in Cross River State. Many more have not been registered.
According to UNHCR, the situation could worsen if a solution to the Ambazonia crisis is not quickly found. “The political dialogue is necessary because it will help put an end to the current crisis,” UNHCR advises.