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Nigeria agrees to Cameroon’s return of 80,000 refugees

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A woman prepares food for lunch in an open-air kitchen for people displaced by Boko Haram violence in the Dalori Internally Displaced People Camp, near Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, May 19, 2016. ©AFP

The Nigerian government says it has agreed to Cameroon’s return of some 80,000 Nigerian citizens who fled the country following the insurgency by the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group.

Nigerian emergency agency spokesman Sani Datti said on Sunday that Abuja signed an agreement with the UN Refugee Agency, also known as the UNHCR, and Cameroon for the return of Nigerian refugees "voluntarily and in a dignified manner."

Nigerian officials have said that the neighboring Cameroon was threatening to force the repatriation of tens of thousands of Nigerians who left their homes in the eastern regions to flee from Boko Haram’s terrorist activities.

Last month, Cameroon dumped a large number of Nigerians at the border though people did not have enough water and temperature soared over 42 degrees Celsius.

The UN said that some 600,000 Nigerians are displaced in the region.

An estimated 20,000 people have been killed and more than two million others made homeless since the beginning of the bloody Boko Haram militancy in Nigeria in 2009.

In 2015, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to Daesh, which is primarily operating in Syria and Iraq.

Boko Haram says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government. It has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in various parts of the country since the beginning of its militancy in 2009.

The Takfiri terrorist group, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” has spread its attacks from its traditional stronghold in northeastern Nigeria to the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.

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