The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has condemned the August 31 attack by Boko Haram insurgents at the Banki camp for displaced persons in Borno State which led to the the death of eleven refugees.
Jose-Antonio Canhandula, the UNHCR’s Country Representative to Nigeria, stated Tuesday in a statement in Abuja that victims of the attack were returnees who arrived from the Minawawo Camp, Cameroon.
In the statement signed by the Commission’s External Relations Officer, Mr Hanson Tamfu, Canhandula condemned the incident.
“The victims are refugees in Cameroon, who had just returned to their home country after fleeing violence with hopes of beginning lives anew.
“Security is an evident concern as we resolutely begin the implementation of the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon as part of the tripartite agreement signed earlier this year.
“The tripartite agreement was signed between Nigeria, Cameroon and UNHCR to ensure voluntary and safe return of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon”, he said.
The UN official also revealed that the military had assured the commission that it had taken measures to prevent future attacks.
He disclosed that with the support of the commission, 218,525 returnees from Cameroon, Niger and Chad had registered with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in the last eight months.
Canhandula said out of the number, 110,501 were from Cameroon while the remaining were from Chad and the Niger Republic.
The commissioner added that more than one million IDPs had returned to their communities since government regained control in areas previously held by the insurgents.
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