Alkasim Abdulkadir, Abuja: The Federal Government says it will commence the voluntary repatriation of over 91,000 Nigerian refugees from Cameroon in July. Hajiya Sadiya Farouk, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, disclosed this on June 20 at the occasion commemorating the 2018 World Refugees Day in Abuja. She said that the Federal Government, Cameroon and UNHCR had signed a Tripartite Agreement in March 2, 2017, which inaugurated the Tripartite Commission with an advanced Technical Working Group to ensure the modality for their return.
According to her, the Technical Working Group has concluded concrete operational modalities and support measures, including setting the timetable and procedures to ensure the safe, dignified, voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon.
“All things being equal,” she said, “the voluntary repatriation should commence in July 2018.” She further said that Nigeria is presently hosting 1960 urban refugees, 809 Asylum seekers persons from Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe respectively.
Jose Antonio-Canhandula, Country Representative, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Nigeria, said that Nigeria has more Internally Displaced Persons than refugees in the country.
He urged all humanitarian partners to find durable solutions to put an end to human want, stating that human beings should not be eternally dependent on humanitarian assistance.
Halima Ahmed, Commissioner for Finance, ECOWAS Commission, said that addressing the plight of refugees, IDPs and other vulnerable groups were part of the major concern of ECOWAS commission.
Ahmed said: “The ECOWAS Commission is committed to preventing causes of displacement through our various political and diplomatic processes as well as mitigating and alleviating the suffering of our displaced populations in the ECOWAS space. She added that In responding to these situations, the ECOWAS Commission has provided assistance in food and financial aid to displaced populations in the North East of Nigeria