Thousands of Nigerians flee to Cameroon over the fear of militant attack - UNHCR

  • Spokesperson of the UNHCR said about 30,000 Nigerians have fled Rann to Cameroon
  • Babar Baloch said this at a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva.
  • He explained that this is because the Cameroonian forces have left Rann.

The U.N Refugee Agency has said that about 30,000 people living in the Nigerian city of Rann have fled to Cameroon fearing an attack by Boko Haram militants.

Spokesperson of the UNHCR Babar Baloch said this at a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva.

He explained the move is because the Cameroonian forces who had moved to secure the city had left after Boko Haram attacked Rann on Jan. 14.

“Because Cameroon is part of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, their military went in to secure Rann. So it was ... peaceful (for a while) but as far as we understand now, that Multi-National Task Force has left,” Baloch said.

He added that the refugees reported that Boko Haram had promised to come back to the city, which originally had an estimated population of about 80,000.

“So all the population seems to be panicking and they are on the run as a pre-emptive measure to save their lives,” Baloch said. “This is quite worrying and alarming.”

Immediately after the Jan. 14 attacks, 9,000 people fled into Cameroon but they were refused asylum and sent back to Nigeria by Cameroonian authorities.

Baloch indicated that it is not clear how many people are currently left in Rann

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