Nigeria: UNHCR condemns the killing of eleven refugee returnees in Banki IDP camp

11 returned refugees killed and 7 injured in an attack on Nigerian border town of Banki, on the night of 31 August

Abuja, 4 September 2017 – Eleven returned refugees were brutally killed and seven injured when suspected Boko Haram insurgents launched an attack on the border town of Banki, on the night of 31 August. The victims were all refugees who recently returned from Minawao camp, in Cameroon’s Far North region. The military, which provides security to the town that now host over 45,000 displaced people, has taken measures to prevent a further attacks.

“We vehemently condemns this senseless attacks on refugee returnees on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid el-Kabir,” said Jose Antonio Canhandula, UNHCR Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS. “The victims were refugees in Cameroon who had just returned to their home country, after fleeing violence, with hopes of beginning their lives anew,” he said.

“Security is an evident concern as we resolutely begin the implementation of the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees living in Cameroon, as part of the tripartite agreement signed between Nigeria, Cameroon and UNHCR earlier this year,” he added.

Since January this year, 218,525 refugee returnees from Cameroon, Niger and Chad registered with the National Immigration Service, with UNHCR support. From this number, 110,501 were returning from Cameroon between January and August 2017.

In addition, more than one million IDPs have returned to their communities since government regained control to areas previously held by the insurgent group.

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