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UN Appeals for Ceasefire Fire in Ambazonia, as Benue State Government Offers 191 Hectares for Refugees Settlement



Akere Muna







UN Appeals for Seize Fire in Ambazonia, as Benue State Government Offers 191 Hectares for Refugees Settlement

The United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), has appealed for a ceasefire between Mr. Biya’s Colonial forces, and the Restoration forces in Ambazonia, and for both parties to give peaceful negotiations a chance. The commission’s representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Antonio Canhandula, made the appeal in Makurdi, Capital of Benue State, Nigeria, while addressing news men on Monday, on the increasing arrival of new sets of Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia Refugees in the State of Benue.

Antonio Canhandula, told the press men and women that, the instability in Southern Cameroons has forced thousands of citizens to seek asylum in Nigeria.He called on the Colonial government of La Republique du CameroUn (LRC) to explore alternative ways of engaging with aggrieved Southern Cameroonians for the sake of peace. He also called on both parties to respect human rights.

“UNHCR urges the Government of Cameroon to explore ways of engaging with those who feel aggrieved, for the sake of peace…We also reiterate the need for respect of human rights by all parties involved,’’ Canhandula said.

According to the UN Refugees officer, the refugees complained of their exclusion from national life, political processes and positions of national significance in the government, by the imperialist government of LRC.

“Longstanding grievances against the central government in Cameroon took a new turn in 2016 when a group of Anglophone Cameroonians triggered civil society-led demonstrations…this was based on allegations of marginalisation by the authorities, particularly in the education and justice system… Initially, the protesters called for the return to a federal system of government and greater autonomy.” He said

“However, on Oct. 1, 2017, the separatist movement, Ambazonia Governing Council, declared unilaterally the independence of Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest Regions…
tensions ensued with government security forces clashing with movements, resulting in injuries and deaths and leading to an influx of English-speaking Cameroonians into Nigeria…Critics accused government forces of killing dozens of civilians while the administration is also alleging that suspected separatists have killed more than 10 security personnel since the crisis intensified in October.’’ he added.

According to Canhandula, the UNHCR has so far registered 20,485 Ambazonian refugees seeking asylum in Benue, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states. He explained that the UNHCR has also opened a permanent office for the coordination of their activities in Calabar, Cross River, including field offices in Adikpo, Benue State and Ikom in Cross River State.

The UN representative, also announced the allocation of of 191 hectares of land by the Benue Government, for the settlement of the increasing number of refugees in Kwande Local Government Area of the State. He noted that the site is currently being developed and each site has the capacity of hosting 4,000 persons. He, however, expressed worries that the influx the refugees is expected to continue and there is the need for more land in Benue State.

“We are still working with the state authorities in Cross River to identify a suitable location to move the refugees away from the border in line with international standards… Issues of accessibility, security, topography, water resources, absorption capacity and good terrain for sanitation facilities are taken into consideration while selecting potential refugee sites.’’ he said.

Canhandula also expressed worries that the commission is yet to gain access to Akwaya, where some Nigerian refugees in Cameroon were located.

“The Akwaya subdivision, in particular, hosts small refugee population of around 1,800 Nigerians and around 600 Cameroonian returnees, who had been refugees in Nigeria before being repatriated in 2015 and 2016. This area is very difficult to access, particularly during the rainy season… Nevertheless, our office in Cameroon is working to organise an assessment mission there… But we cannot provide firsthand information at this moment,’’ he said.

While BaretaNews continues to appreciate the UNHCR for their efforts in ensuring that Ambazonian refugees are comfortable, we continue to remind the political and diplomatic wing of the UN, of their responsibilities to prevent genocidal activities and atrocities like those currently being executed by the colonialist Mr. Paul Biya in the Sovereign territory of Ambazonia. It makes absolutely no sense spending millions of dollars in humanitarian services to people who have their comfortable homes and enough food to eat, but have been displaced by a senseless war which the UN should have long prevented and use the humanitarian money fund more serious conflict prevention projects. Why has the UN continuously paint a negative image of itself as a body the loves to see wars erupt and bloodshed so that they can buy heavy anti-bullet jeeps, with long antennas and be cruising the war zone in the name of humanitarian missions? What of investing such monies in concrete and genuine peace building and preventive diplomatic actions? Does the “world peace body” have a contract with the blood of the oppressed all over the world?

We shall continue to remind the UN, especially its corrupt diplomatic officials of their cardinal responsibilities, as stated in the preamble of the UN Chatter and the need to leave up to these responsibilities. Until the UN starts being proactive, rather than reactionary in conflict or war prevention, its humanitarian activities during such wars as is the case with Southern Cameroons refugees shall continuously be seen by many as an avenue to get some UN cabals share some of the contributed cash from member nations and then deploy the crumbs to the victims of war in the name of humanitarian aid.

James Agbor, BaretaNewa Analyst.

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