The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Tuesday condemned the Aug. 31 attack by Insurgents at Banki internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp, Borno State, which resulted to the death of 11 refugees.
Mr Jose-Antonio Canhandula, UNHCR’s Country Representative to Nigeria, said in a statement in Abuja that victims of the incident were returnees, who arrived from the Minawawo Camp, Cameroon.
In the statement signed by the Commission’s External Relations Officer, Mr Hanson Tamfu, Canhandula further condemned the incident, which took place on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid el-Kabr.
“The victims are refugees in Cameroon, who had just returned to their home country after fleeing violence with hopes of beginning lives anew.
“Security is an evident concern as we resolutely begin the implementation of the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon as part of the tripartite agreement signed earlier this year.
“The tripartite agreement was signed between Nigeria, Cameroon and UNHCR to ensure voluntary and safe return of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon,” Canhandula said.
He, however, said that the military had assured the commission that it had taken measures to prevent further attacks.
He said that 218,525 returnees from Cameroon, Niger and Chad had registered with the Nigerian Immigration Service with the support of the commission in the last eight months.
He said out of the number, 110,501 were from Cameroon and the remaining were from Chad and Niger Republic.
The commissioner said more than one million IDPs had returned to their communities since government regained control in areas previously held by the insurgents.