UNHCR, Nigeria Presents The situational Report on Ambazonian Refugees
The UNHCR, Nigeria has released a situational report on the current Ambazonia refugee crisis in Cross River State, Nigeria. According to the report, more Ambazonians crossed into Nigeria on the 4th December, 2017 through four entry points namely, Amana, Agbokim, Ikom/Ajasso and Boki, all in the Cross River State of South-South Nigeria, from the Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia border town of Akwaya, Otu, Eyumojock, Nsan, Dadi and Bodam. The UNHCR, confirmed that they have so far done biometric registration for 5, 277 refugees and a joined registration team of UNHCR and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced persons (NCFMI), shall continue with the biometric registration of others and the new arrivals.
In collaboration with other partner agencies like Rhema Care, the UNHCR and the Nigerian government have been providing food and non-food items to the already registered 5,277 refugees. With the arrival of more refugees, the UNHCR has raised concerns of an impending shot of its resources to cater for the increasing number of new arrivals. As concerns health, the UNHCR, and Rhema Care, are working in collaboration with the Cross River State Government to provide basic health care services to the refuges. It is also important to note that the Southern Cameroonian/Amazonian refugees are being hosted by the benevolent members of local communities whose resources are also already being overstretched as the influx continues.
There is therefore need for additional resources to support the new arrivals and reinforce UNHCR’s coordination and response efforts. The UNHCR is also already considering the establishment of an office presence in cross river state with the required staff to effectively manage the influx of Ambazonian asylum seekers and the attending protection challenges, which will be an addition to the frequent rotational field missions to the affected states. Currently, the UNHCR, Nigeria and her partners have elaborated a contingency plan for an estimated 40.000 new arrivals from Ambazonia, with a nominal budget of $18million.
BaretaNews thinks that the current refugee crisis would have been prevented if the United Nations has been proactive in her responsibilities of conflict prevention. The worst is that, acts of genocide are currently being perpetuated in Ambazonia, while the UN and the international community play to the gallery. In a crisis whose solution lies directly within the jurisdiction of the UN, it is therefore incongruous for the global peace keeping body, through her humanitarian agency (UNHCR) to be quick in rushing to provide humanitarian aid to a people running away from state sponsored terrorism and genocide. Why not arrest the refugee crisis from its roots, which is arresting the Ambazonia question?
Agbor James, BaretaNews Political Analyst