By Doh Bertrand Nua
Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul AtangaNji has exhorted the over 20, 000 refugees who have fled violence in the Central African Republic, CAR, to seek refuge in the Adamawa region to be law-abiding and respect their those in their host communities.
He was speaking during separate visits he paid to Borgoprefugee camp in Djohong subdivision and the Ngam refugee camp in Meiganga subdivision in Mbere Division. The visit aimed at evaluating the situation on the field and get first hand assessment of theneeds of the refugees.
Minister AtangaNji expressed satisfaction with the discipline that prevails in the camps but called on the refugees to strictly respect the laws of the land. He urged them to rigorously respect all government and WHO prescribed anti-COVID-19 barrier measures in order to keep the spread of the virus at bay.
AtangaNji appreciated the efforts of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, and other donor and partner organisationsproviding succor to the refugees.
The MINAT boss told UNHCR and other officials during a working session that President Paul Biya is particularly concern with the plight of refugees on Cameroonian soil.
He said the president’s concern to the plight of refugees has made Cameroon a reference point in the management of refugee situation. He promised to present the report of the exact situation on the field to the Head of State.He tasked those charged with managing the refugees to encourage them to take their vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic in order to stay safe from the virus.
The Borgop camp which plays host to over 12 221 refugeeswas in March 2014. It occupies over 36 hectares land with 3500 households in the locality which is just 95 kilometres from the CAR.
A similar situation prevails in the nearby Ngam camp which host about 7, 000 refugees. The refugees who have found a second home in the locality have been engaged in different activities in order to survive despite the challenges.
“We need more teachers because presently, we had 200 pupils for one teacher. We need farm lands to cultivate so that we can enough food,” stated NtamBombiJosias, spokesperson of the refugees.
AtangaNji’s visit coincides with the end of the visit of the Assistant High Commissioner for Operations in theUNHCR,RaoufMazou. The visiting officialduring separate audiences granted him by the MINAT boss and the Prime Minister, Head of Government, hailed government’s handling of refugees from countries within the Lake Chad Basin and internally displaced persons. He said the UNHCR will work closely with government to improve the situation of refugees.
“The objective of the visit was to first thank the PM for the fact that Cameroon is one of the countries in the World which is receiving the largest number of refugees, close to half a million and to reaffirm our support, that we are there for the government to provide the necessary support for the protection and assistance of these refugees,” Mazou said, adding that they were pleased with the inclusion policy that continues to be implemented by Cameroon.
UNHCR statistics indicates that Cameroon currently hosts over 455, 000 refugees as well as asylum seekers and internally displaced persons.
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