FG to commence return of Borno refugees in Minawo, Cameroon, says Minister

The Federal Government has said it will soon commence voluntary return of Borno state indigenes in Minawo refugee camp, Cameroon.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, stated this in Abuja at the Nigeria stakeholders’ implementation meeting on the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) on Thursday.

Farouq said that the government has returned over 130 refugees to their communities in Adamawa State.

She said: “Very soon we will commence the voluntary repatriation of our Borno state indigenes living in Minawo camp in Cameroon as refugees in safety and in dignity.

“We also signed a Tripartite Agreement with the UNHCR and government of Cameroon on the repatriation of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon and commenced its implementation with the return of over 130 refugees to their communities in Adamawa State.”

The minister noted that the adoption of GCR is a good omen for Nigeria as it has opened a new vista of opportunities for stakeholders to access support in a timely, predictable and sustainable manner.

According to the minister, the pact has created an incentive for stakeholders to join forces and pool resources to address the humanitarian challenge and to do it with the intention of addressing underlying causes in a sustainable and humane manner.

She added that Nigeria has the highest number of refugees in the Lake Chad Basin and carries the heaviest burden of the humanitarian challenge among Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.

“In the Lake Chad Basin region, there were over 3.3 million Forcedly Displaced Persons (FDPs), comprising over 2.7 million IDPs in North-East Nigeria, 513,000 IDPs in Cameroon, Chad and Niger and 244,000 refugees in the four countries. Nigeria had the highest number and carries the heaviest burden of the humanitarian challenge.

“The adoption of GCR is a good omen for Nigeria. It has opened a new vista of opportunities for stakeholders to access support in a timely, predictable and sustainable manner.

“It creates an incentive for stakeholders to join forces and pool resources to address the humanitarian challenge and to do it with the intention of addressing underlying causes in a sustainable and humane manner.

“It also enables stakeholders to approach the humanitarian challenge from a durable solution perspective which requires closer, stronger and well-coordinated partnerships and collaborations across all levels of governance,” the minister added.

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