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Nigerian refugees repatriated from Cameroon


Nigerian refugees repatriated from Cameroon

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Photo: Moki Edwin Kindzeka/VOA

A second set of refugees that fled northeastern Nigeria from the militant jihadist group Boko Haram is set to be repatriated from Cameroon today.

The repatriations started on February 27. Some 9,800 people are expected to voluntarily return home. Overall, 2.7 million refugees have been displaced by Boko Haram’s insurgency into the Lake Chad basin—a region encompassing territory in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Central African Republic. Cameroon has taken in 100,000 Nigerians.

This repatriation is highly unlikely to stem the significant numbers of displaced peoples in the region. Although many refugees have settled in their host countries, thousands of others remain in unstable situations along Lake Chad border regions, making them key targets of recruitment by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram has been defeated in most of northeastern Nigeria, but it has adapted and is believed by Lagos to have teamed up with other militant groups to stage attacks on women and children in Nigeria’s northwestern regions. These are regions that Boko Haram doesn’t normally operate in, so expect insurgency risks in the northwest to increase, likely catalysing the exodus of Nigerian refugees to Chad Basin countries.

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