11 January 2018

Nigeria: UNHCR Registers 12,100 Cameroonian Refugees in Benue, Cross River

Photo: Monde Kingsley Nfor /Irin
(file photo).

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, has registered 12,100 Cameroonian refugees in Benue and Cross River.

Antonio Canhandula, UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, gave the figure during a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that 4,000 of the Cameroonians were registered in Benue while 8,100 others were registered in Cross River.

According to the UN official, there are Cameroonian refugees in some other parts of the country, but they are more in Benue and Cross River, which need urgent intervention by government and humanitarian partners.

"What are the figures today? When talking about figures, our organisation, UNHCR, talks about figures that have been verified, and the people who have been registered.

"So far in Cross River State, we have registered 8,100 refugees; certainly, they are more and that is why the team is still on ground. So, we can't state how many more.

"But what we can state is that they are still coming, and they are coming daily. In Benue, we have a total of 4,000 refugees; 2,310 in Abande and 1,690 in Abasse; these are figures that we can vouch for."

He further noted that the 40,000 figure that was earlier stated was for contingency plan and not the actual figure of registered Cameroonian refugees in the country.

"We have worked with our partners since this crisis started; we have prepared a contingency plan and the contingency plan has a figure.

"That figure in the plan should not be used as the figure of refugees that are in the country already. With the contingency plan, it means that we are preparing the resources.

"In case we reach that number, the contingency figure is 40,000 so far, which can be reversed," the UNHCR representative said.

According to him, the UN body is trying to accelerate the registration process, to get the actual figures of Cameroonian in those states.

Sadiya Farouq, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displayed Persons, NCFRMI, said on the occasion that Federal Government had started giving out relief materials to refugees in the affected states.

She said that government was working with other partners to address the situation, by putting them in camps and ensuring that those camps were secured.

Ms. Farouq, however, said that discussion was ongoing with the Cameroonian government to ensure that the political crisis being faced at the moment was resolved.

Tamuno Jaja, the Deputy Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service noted that not all the Cameroonians came through the borders.

He said that some of them came into the country through communities close to them, stating that the most affected states were Taraba, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

Mr. Jaja said that all efforts were geared toward resuscitating them in the interim, noting that the peace of Cameroon is the peace of Nigeria. (NAN)

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