Clashes force 16,000 Nigerian refugees into Cameroon, says UNHCR

3 Mar 2015

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Refugees flee terrorist violence in NigeriaFile Photo UNHCR/A.Ndayisaba

Fighting in northern Nigeria has brought thousands of people flooding into Cameroon, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday.The latest influx happened at the weekend and follows repeated clashes involving insurgents and Nigerian troops in the north of the country.
UNHCR plans to respond by moving displaced people away from several volatile border zones just south of Lake Chad, as Daniel Johnson reports.
Although they’ve managed to flee the fighting in Nigeria’s northern state, the 16,000 people now in Cameroon won’t be safe until emergency relocation begins on Wednesday.
That’s because conflict is continuing between military forces and insurgents on Cameroonian territory in the run-up to elections in Nigeria.
The areas involved are Makaria, Logone Birni and Fotokol; they lie just south of Lake Chad and have come under repeated attacks by Nigerian insurgents in recent weeks.
According to Cameroonian authorities, this is just the latest influx of refugees from Nigeria caused by the fighting.
Here’s UNHCR’s Adrian Edwards:
“The authorities (are) telling us that more refugees are continuing to cross into these volatile areas which are just to the south of Lake Chad, and have come under repeated attacks by Nigerian insurgents in recent weeks.”
The UN agency plans to move 2,000 people a day 90 kilometres from the border where there’s an established refugee camp which already hosts more than 32,000 Nigerian refugees.
Daniel Johnson, United Nations.
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