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Forty thousand Cameroonians seek refuge in Nigeria

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The United Nations (UN) has reported that nearly 40 000 more people have been forced to flee to Nigeria by the worsening humanitarian situation in north-west and south-west regions of Cameroon.

The spokesman of the organisation, Farhan Haq, said 530 000 others had been internally displaced.

Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry quoted Haq as saying that no fewer than 1.3 million people are now in need of assistance and that the situation “continues to be characterised by human rights and protection abuses and violations”.

The crisis in English-speaking regions started in 2016 when separatists launched an armed struggle for a breakaway state they call Ambazonia.

Government forces have responded strongly, leading to accusations of extra-judicial killings and burning of villages.

More recently, there has been a focus on abuses allegedly committed by the many separatist groups too, including kidnappings, according to the BBC.

Haq said on Monday that 2 800 protection violation incidents had been reported in the first six months of this year.

“House destruction and child protection violations are those reported in greatest numbers.

“Meanwhile, in the far north of Cameroon, attacks by non-State armed groups against villages have intensified since the beginning of the year, leading to new displacements.

“Around 1 300 people were reportedly being displaced last week alone.

“Attacks also resulted in dozens of civilian deaths, hundreds of houses set ablaze, and widespread looting of civilian goods,” he said.

The UN spokesman said the response in Cameroon remained one of the most “critically underfunded humanitarian responses globally” despite increased humanitarian needs.

According to him, only 20 percent of the 300 million dollars requested by the humanitarian community this year has been received.


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