The United Nations (UN) refugee agency has said that over 15,000 Cameroonians have fled to Nigeria as the government continues with a major crackdown on Anglophone separatists.
Nigerian government officials have also confirmed the influx of these Cameroonians on Thursday signaling the impact of the security crackdown from the Paul Biya led government.
Over 8,000 refugees have been registered by UNHCR officials in the southeastern state of Cross River alone. These details were made public at a briefing in Abuja by Antonio Jose Canhandula, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) representative in Nigeria.
The UN and Nigerian officials further revealed that some 6,700 Cameroonian refugees have also crossed into neighbouring Benue state.
UNHCR’s Canhandula said “Certainly there are more, how many more we are not able to state. They are still coming, and they are coming daily. It is a crisis,” he said.
Nigerian and Cameroonian officials are reported to have met to discuss the refugees crisis to find a solution to it.
There have been agitations from the people of Cameroon’s English speaking region who have accused the Francophone majority of discrimination.
Their concerns ranges from not getting jobs opportunities and having legal systems in French language imposed on them.
Those claims have been rejected by the government. There has been a crackdown on such dissents as well in the past months with hundreds arrested just over the past four months.
Cameroon was colonised by Germany but was split into British and French areas after World War One.