NCFRMI urges the Government of Cameroon to Respect the rights of Nigerian Refugees and Guard against Refoulement

The attention of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally-Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) has be drawn to the unfortunate denial of over 35,000 Nigerians displaced by recent Boko Haram attacks to seek refuge in Cameroon Republic. Reports contend that even those who entered Cameroon Republic were forcibly returned by Cameroonian authorities. This is more disturbing as the affected persons of concern fled their communities in Borno State for fear of renewed attacks and are currently stranded at the frontier.  The action of Cameroonian authorities breaches the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, which explicitly provide that “No contracting state shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social ground or political opinion”.

NCFRMI extends its sympathy to the affected persons. It has mobilized resources for an immediate response. While the Commission expresses its deep appreciation to the Government of Cameroon for hosting Nigerian refugees, it urges authorities to honour the international convention and protocol on refugees by granting access to those in dire need of protection.

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