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Insurgency: FG approves new regulations for asylum seekers from Cameroon

Insurgency: FG approves new regulations for asylum seekers from Cameroon
July 27
23:15 2022

The federal government says it has approved a memo by the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, for regulations for asylum seekers from Cameroon. 

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said this on Wednesday while speaking with journalists shortly after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.

There is an ongoing crisis in Cameroon, which dates back to 2016 when there were protests calling for reforms — millions of persons have now been displaced following the conflict, with several people seeking refuge in Nigeria.

Mohammed said the new regulations will make provisions on the formal process of granting refuge to asylum seekers.

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“You all know that due to the insurgency in Cameroon, Nigeria has witnessed an influx of Cameroonian asylum seekers and there are basic standard procedures for you to be granted status as an asylum seeker,” he said.

 “This is what the council considered and approved today. And basically, it is that anybody from Cameroon who is seeking asylum in Nigeria must first convince the authorities that he or she has actually renounced armed struggle, before you can even be considered as an asylum seeker.

 “Also, there are cases of some of them who have come — even when they claim to have surrendered their arms, they go back at times to join the separatist movement in Cameroon.

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“So, the procedure was explained and approved today that will evaluate the basic criteria to grant asylum.”

When asked if the approval will not bring about security challenges, the minister said the issue of asylum seekers from Cameroon is not a new thing.

“The issue of the standard operating procedure for asylum seekers from Cameroon is not a matter that started today,” he said.

“The issue of the separatist movement in Cameroon is many years old and every day, because of the proximity of Cameroon to Nigeria, we’ve witnessed an influx of refugees seeking asylum, and under international regulations, there are certain procedures you must take for asylum seekers. 

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“So, all we have done today is to establish the standard procedure to ensure that those who claim to be asylum seekers are actually not insurgents themselves that have come to destabilise Nigeria, or people who will come and be launching attacks against their own country from the comfort of Nigeria.”

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