The United Nations Refugee Agency said it was "alarmed" by the news of Cameroon's expulsion of several thousand refugees this week to Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno. a region beset by violence, according to a statement from the institution.
UNHCR particularly deplores the "forced return of 267 Nigerian refugees" on 16 January 2019. Saying "very worried about the safety and well-being of all these people", who fled to Cameroon in 2014 fleeing violence linked to the abuses of Boko Haram.
Reacting to these expulsions by Cameroon, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi said "a completely unexpected action endangers the lives of thousands of refugees."
Continuing, he called on Cameroon "to keep its doors open, to implement hospitality policies and practices, to immediately stop forced returns, and to fully respect its obligations to protect refugees in under its own national law and international law. "
According to UNHCR, some 9,000 Nigerians crossed the border into Cameroon earlier this week after an attack by militants who ransacked the small border town of Rann in Borno State, Nigeria. This brings the total number of refugees hosted by Cameroon to 370,000, including 100,000 Nigerians and more than 270,000 Central African refugees in the East.