Nigerian refugees have complained that Cameroonian troops entered into Nigeria through the border and slaughtered about 150 villagers, razed down their huts and forced them to flee. The fleeing villagers said they had to walk for several days before they could find a refugee center.
According to Mariamu Abubakar who is a farmer, Cameroonian soldiers invaded their place on November 30 and killed about 150 people in his village close to Nigeria’s Banki border post.
The farmer who was among the 643 refugees who arrived at night on Monday, December 7, to Adamawa’s Fufore transit centre further revealed that the troops didn’t just raid the place, but they also robbed the villagers’ livestock and set their huts on fire.
According to what the soldiers who screened them revealed to AFP, the refugees came from Gamboru to Banki, a 150-kilometer stretch along the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
Governor Bindow Jibrilla of Adamawa state earlier on Tuesday, blamed Cameroon for moving their citizens into his state under the umbrella of refugees.
While addressing pressmen, the Governor stated he is yet to know the reason behind their actions but noted that there were thousands of people allowed into the state in the name of refugees amid growing tensions between Nigeria and its neighbors over the Boko Haram Islamic uprising that has spread over Nigeria’s borders.
However, the Cameroonian government has declined the charges and the claims of an attack on residents in any Nigerian village, stating that the country’s troops are battling “in synergy” with Nigerian soldiers to carry out “coordinated operations” on several border villages around Lake Chad.
The country quoted the rescue operation which was done as a result of the coordinated raids between Friday, November 27 and Sunday, November 29, where at least 900 Boko Haram captives were rescued and said the fight is what is keeping their soldiers busy for now.
In the words of Issa Tchiroma Bakary, the Cameroon government spokesman
We have a highly trained military that respect human rights.”
Irrespective of the claims that thousands of Nigerian refugees have been brought back to the country in recent months, Bakary declined the accusation that Cameroon forced Nigerian refugees out of the country.
The visiting president of New York-based International Rescue Committee David Miliband also stated that
It remains unclear who attacked whom and why; however, it is a real humanitarian disaster,
They are unable to go home because it’s not yet safe and because they fear for their lives.”
Rumor has it that a major detection of black gold around the borders could have prompted the brutal attack, as only last week, Nigeria’s petroleum minister revealed that he expects a major oil discovery soon in the Lake Chad Basin.
The minister also opined that the enormous discovery might create more border conflicts in the northeastern part of Nigeria that joins Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
So while the soldiers from the neighbouring countries are embarking on coordinated raids against Boko Haram insurgents, we hope they do their jobs and nothing else outside that to avoid any disagreement therein.