Nigeria, Foreign Stakeholders to Ensure Safe Repatriation of Refugees

Nigerian government and foreign stakeholders have agreed to ensure measures that would guarantee safe repatriation and dignity of refugees.

The agreement was made during an Inaugural Meeting of the Tripartite Commission for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon, which was held in Abuja.

The event was the first meeting between the governments of Nigeria and Cameroon, United Nations High Commissioner For Refugee (UNHCR), United Nations Refugee Agency, since the three parties signed the Tripartite Agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigeria refugees in Cameroon, in March 2, 2017, in Yaoundé Cameroon.

The Tripartite Commission was to ensure that voluntary repatriation takes place in safety, dignity and in a condition that ensures durability of returns, as well, refugees’ re-integration into the society.

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Defining modalities of implementing the Agreement, the UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Jose Canhandula said, the UNHCR is committed to collaborate with both Governments of Nigeria and Cameroon to ensure the smooth implementation of the Tripartite Agreement, enhance protection and assistance to returnees.

On his part, the Honourable Minister, Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Republic of Cameroon, Mr Emmanuel Sadi, said the aim of the Tripartite Commission was to successfully conduct the process of concerned persons.
He added that, the refugee crisis was a direct fall out of the violent acts of Boko Haram terrorist sect, which has forced several Nigerians out of the country across the common border to seek refuge on Cameroonian territory.

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Also, Minister of Interior, Retired Lieutenant General Abdulraman Danbazau, said the purpose of the agreement was to develop a roadmap for advocacy, voluntary and dignified return of refugees in compliance with international standard.

He added that, the implementation of the Agreement was part of a process of winning and maintaining peace, which requires lots of efforts and committed collaboration.

It would be recalled that, in 2015, more than 300, 000 Nigerians displaced from North East part of the country as a result of Boko Haram insurgency have returned from Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.

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However, the Tripartite Agreement seeks to ensure that, returns of refugees are not just voluntary, safe and dignified, but also that they are properly supported, their property protected and not tasked, and for the Tripartite Committee to encourage Civil Society Partnership towards achieving the Agreement.


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