AFRICA/CAMEROON - Forced repatriation and violence push Nigerian refugees to go back home

Yaoundé - There are 91,000 people who left Nigeria to take refuge in Cameroon, but the hostilities encountered are pushing many to return to their country of origin at the cost of exposing themselves to the violence of Boko Haram armed group. "Although the Cameroonian authorities deny any accusation of forced repatriation, many witnesses speak of fully-militarized villages. Arrests, assassins, forced return to Nigeria", informs Radio France International. Various testimonies have spoken to the radio of forced returns, but there are also many refugees who decide to return home autonomously, paying 2,500 francs Cfa to return towards the Nigerian border. The phenomenon of voluntary repatriations is also fueled by the lack of information on the state of the conflict in Nigeria. Of the 91,000 refugees present in Cameroon, one third are in the villages near the border, while the others are hosted in the camp in Minawao, set up to contain up to a maximum of 30,000.