The Federal Government has signed a tripartite agreement with the UN High Commission for Refuge (UNHCR) and the Republic of Cameroon for the return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.
Muhammad Sidi, the Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), disclosed this when an AU Humanitarian Mission led by Dr Aisha Abdullahi, AU’s Commissioner Political Affairs, visited the agency in Abuja.
Sidi, in a statement signed by Sani Datti, NEMA’s Information Officer, said that “80,000 Nigerians are taking refuge in Cameroon and are being catered for by the Federal Government”.
He commended the Federal Government, state governments affected by the insurgency, the UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector for supporting the refugees.
The NEMA director-general also thanked all the development partners and donor agencies for working tirelessly in supporting the Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) and the government and people of Nigeria.
Sidi said the organisations had “done a lot in the past four years to manage large numbers of IDPs in the North-East”.
He said with the war against Boko Haram almost over, the stakeholders in the humanitarian response “have moved from the emergency response stage to recovery and resettlement of the IDPs”.
He urged the visiting AU commissioner to use her office to seek more assistance and support for the persons and the states affected by the insurgency.
Abdullahi had said that the AU team was in Nigeria to assess the humanitarian situation and to discuss areas of possible support.
The statement quoted her as saying that the displaced Nigerians were of concern to the AU.
“The records available to AU indicate that there are about 13 million displaced persons and three million refugees on the continent.
“I commend the efforts of the Nigerian government and the military for degrading and minimising the activities of the insurgents in the North-East.
“The AU will continue to give more attention to the issues of displacement through interaction and focus on addressing the root causes of conflicts in Africa,’’ Abdullahi said.