Chris Steven, Abuja

The Norwegian Refugee Council says it is alarmed by the massive displacement of 30,000 people from the Nigerian town of Rann into Cameroon, less than one week after 9,000 Nigerians fled a deadly attack in the city.

Last week, the Nigerian refugees who had crossed into Cameroon, were forced to return.

“We call for Cameroon to keep its borders open. It is crucial that the Nigerian and Cameroonian authorities offer assistance to those fleeing the violence, in compliance with international agreements and the Tripartite agreement signed between the two countries and the UNHCR,” said  Eric Batonon, Country Director in Nigeria for the Norwegian Refugee Council in a statement on Wednesday.

He remarked that women, men, and children fleeing are not opportunists; they are civilians fleeing for their lives.

“Since November 2018, there has been a steep surge in displacement in northeast Nigeria, triggered by a spike in attacks. More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee, many for the second time,” he  said.

“This is creating vast humanitarian needs and stretching the capacity of already congested camps and sites across the region.”

However, by denying assistance and protection to those fleeing, needs are exacerbated and affected communities will continue to rely on humanitarian assistance.

The humanitarian community launched a plan this week to assist 2.5 million people displaced across the Lake Chad Basin. The Norwegian Refugee Council calls for donor countries to step up their support to countries in the region hosting a large number of refugees and displaced people.”

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