Nigerian Refugees Start Voluntary Return from Cameroon
At least 130 Nigerian refugees who fled the Boko Haram insurgency have been flown back from Cameroon in the first phase of a voluntary repatriation exercise organized by the host state, their country Nigeria and the United Nations.The group of 133 refugees from 25 families was bound for Yola in Nigeria's Adamawa state, expressing hope they will find peace in their country after several years of atrocities that made them escape.Among them was 31-year old Alim Bourkadia, who was anxious to return after four years in Cameroon."We say thank God to Cameroon that helped to keep us in their country and today, our country needs us. Thanks [to] Cameroon and UNHCR that helped us," he said.A Nigerian Air Force plane that will transport Nigerian refugees to Yola in Nigeria's Adamawa state waits in Maroua, Cameroon, Aug. 22, 2019. (Moki Kindzeka/VOA)Bourkadia was one of 110,000 Nigerians whom the United Nations says fled to Cameroon from Boko Haram-related violence in Nigeria. He left Cameroon's Minawao refugee camp, which is home to nearly 90,000 people. At least 30,000 additional refugees have been living in villages surrounding the camp.The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, has not said how many people have voluntarily agreed to return.Sadiya Umar Farouq, Nigeria's minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, says the refugees are leaving following a March 2017 tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon. Cameroon, Nigeria and UNHCR signed the deal.Sadiya Oumar Farouq, Nigeria's minister of humanitarian affairs, speaks to reporters in Maroua, Cameroon, Aug. 22, 2019. (Moki Kindzeka/VOA)Farouq says the necessary arrangements have been made for the refugees' socioeconomic reinsertion into Nigeria."We are going to put them in a reception center for a maximum of seven days, after which they will be taken back to their respective communities," she... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Nigerian Refugees Start Voluntary Return from Cameroon, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you
Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 23 August
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