Thursday, 4 July 2013

Cameroon Claims It Has 4,000 Refugees From Boko Haram’s Conflict

Cameroon claims it has received 4,000 refugees fleeing the Nigerian military offensive against Islamists in the northeastern part of the country, the governor of the affected region said on Wednesday, bringing total refugee numbers from the conflict to at least 10,000.
“There are 4,000 refugees who have come in from Nigeria and we are working out a programme with the International Red Cross to set up a refugee camp for them near the town of Mokolo,” Cameroon’s Far-North region governor Fonka Awa said.
The Nigerian Army was not available for comment. The local Red Cross said it was still investigating.
Since the state of emergency was declared in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, military forces havebeen engaged in a concerted crackdown against the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, bombing their bases, raiding neighborhoods where they are suspectedto be hiding and cutting phone lines.
The figure was much lower than that given by Senator Hamed Jaha from Borno state, who said on Monday that 20,000 had fled from the Nigerian border towns of Ashigashiya and Ngoshe into Cameroon after army raids.
Last month the U.N. refugee agency said it had registered 6,000 refugees from Nigeria in neighbouring Niger.
Rights groups and aid agencies have warned of fears that the longer the offensive against the Islamists goes on, the more the local population will suffer.
The National Human Rights Commission said this week that violence since President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in May had forced thousands of farmers to flee their land. It warned that the exodus could trigger a food crisis.
The group said it had credible reports of killings, torture, rape and arbitrary detention by security forces.

Culled from Channelstv

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