The United Nations has said the population of Nigerian refugees in a Cameroonian refugee camp tripled in just two months. The Nigerians from Adamawa state were displaced due to Boko Haram terror activities. Vast majority are women and children who were forced to flee on foot, taking few belongings with them and walking tens of kilometres before finding safety in Cameroon.
The Office of the UN Refugee Agency released a statement citing Cameroonian authorities’ claims that about 13,000 Nigerian refugees had crossed over from the Nigerian border state of Adamawa after Boko Haram insurgents attacked and captured the town of Mubi in late October.
According to the agency’s statement,
Insecurity has been mounting in the border regions between the two countries amid repeated cross-border attacks into northern Cameroon by Boko Haram. As a result, many Nigerians fleeing the violence have sought refuge in Cameroon. The Minawao refugee camp, for instance, is hosting 16,282 refugees, with the population having nearly tripled in size in the past two months. The current camp capacity is estimated at 35,000 people and further expansions are underway to accommodate the refugees already registered for transfer from the border, as well as possible additional new arrivals.
The refugees told UNHCR that many families were forced to flee on foot, taking few belongings with them and walking tens of kilometres before finding safety in Cameroon.
UNHCR also said recent violence on the Niger-Nigeria border had prompted at least 1,000 Nigerians to escape into Niger’s Bosso area, particularly when the insurgents captured Malam Fatori last week.
The on-going refugee crisis has seen more than 100,000 people spill over into Niger’s Diffa region since the beginning of 2014, while Cameroon is currently hosting some 44,000 Nigerian refugees, while another 2,700 have fled to Chad.