News / Africa

    Refugees from War in Neighboring Countries Flooding into Cameroon

    Nigerians of Cameroonian origin build a house in a village of Tallamallabrahim, northern Cameroon where they settled after fleeing Nigeria to escape massacres by the Islamic group Boko Haram, May 27, 2013.
    Nigerians of Cameroonian origin build a house in a village of Tallamallabrahim, northern Cameroon where they settled after fleeing Nigeria to escape massacres by the Islamic group Boko Haram, May 27, 2013.
    Cameroon said it is home to over 20,000 Nigerian and Central African Republic (CAR) refugees who are fleeing disorder and killings in their countries.  Fears have been raised that some of the refugees, especially from the CAR,  may be coming in with weapons used during the conflict that ousted that country's former president, Francois Bozize.

    Escaping political unrest

    Thousands of Nigerians fleeing killings blamed on the Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the military offensive by the Nigerian army have been crossing the border to neighboring Cameroon.

    Governor Fonka Augustine of the Far North region of Cameroon said there are already more than 4,000 Nigerian refugees in his region alone and more continue to come in.  Thousands of others are seeking refuge in other parts of Cameroon. The International Red Cross estimates that Nigerian refugees in Cameroon number about 10,000.

    One of the refugees, 36-year-old businessman Sam Uche, said he escaped to Cameroon after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan sent troops to Yobe state to battle Boko Haram. "The Boko Haram has given Nigeria a bad name, that is why I had to escape from my country, Nigeria to this place," he said.

    Uche adds that he is still hiding from Cameroonian immigration officials and has not been able to contact the United Nations refugee agency. "It is a good Country, it is a neighboring country of Nigeria but the difficulties we are facing is that the immigration officers are disturbing us," he explained.

    There is also an influx of people from the Central African Republic running away from the political unrest in their country.

    Influx of rebels among refugees

    It is estimated that at least 12,000 CAR nationals are in Cameroon.

    Clarrice Bande, a 29-year-old housewife from the center of the CAR,  has been in Yaounde for two weeks now.  She said she is waiting for calm to return to her country before she can go back.

    She said she comes from Sibou in the Central African Republic and is running away because there is no peace there and there is danger every day.

    Cameroonian authorities have also raised concerns that the Central African Republic refugees, some of whom fought during the coup that ousted the CAR's  former president Francois Bozize, are coming into Cameroon with weapons.  

    Cameroon's secretary of state in charge of the national police, Jean Baptist Bokam, said they have deployed the military to make sure that such weapons are seized.

    He said that since the change of power in the CAR there has been a flow of people into Cameroon representing both the rebels and the troops loyal to the former CAR president Bozize.  Bokam said it has affected security inside Cameroon and he says in the east of the country there is now a security alert in effect.  He said the situation is being handled.

    Cameroonians, for their part, have mixed reactions about the increasing number of refugees in their country.  Pa Ambe Martin, a transporter, welcomes the refugees.

    "They are neighbors and if they have a problem, they can run to Cameroon as usual," Martin stated. "Those who have problems and they think that they can come to Cameroon can come.  If you have a problem, you run to your neighbor's house."

    But Joe Njobati, a business man, sees problems with the influx. "It will be difficult for the government or the  Cameroonian authorities to go solve problems in Nigeria.  The influx of Nigerians will only create problems for the Cameroonian authorities," he said.

    The farmers in Cameroon are also raising fears of potential farmer/grazer conflicts as some of the refugees are coming to Cameroon with their cattle.  

    The government of Cameroon and the International Red Cross said, with the fighting in Nigeria and Central African Republic persisting, there are indications that the number of refugees will continue to increase.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Leaderless, Rudderless, Britain Drifts

    Experts predicted chaos would follow, if Britain decided to vote for Brexit, and chaos has

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora