RETURN OF REFUGEES: NIGERIA HARPS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TRIPARTITE AGREEMENT
Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau
Nigeria has harped on the need to take practical steps to the implementation of the Agreement for the return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon, signed by Nigeria, Cameroon and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on 2 March 2017.
The Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, stated thiswhen he inaugurated the Meeting of the Tripartite Commission for the Implementation of the Tripartite Agreement for the Voluntary Repatriation of Nigerian Refugees Living in Cameroon.
Gen. Dambazau said that the six-member Commission would supervise and execute measures that would facilitate the implementation of the previously signed Tripartite Agreement, which the parties had not been able to implement since after it was signed on 2nd March, 2017 in Yaoundè, Cameroon.
He noted that as provided by the Agreement, the Commission would “drive the critical process that would bring the Agreement into force”, and called for the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure the full realization of the goals of the Tripartite Commission.
The Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Republic of Cameroon, Rene Emmanuel Sadi, pledged that Cameroon would play its role in the Agreement effectively, and would set up maximum conditions of security and serenity for the voluntary repatriation of refugees to Nigeria, which is part of the practical modalities of the Tripartite Agreement signed in Yaoundè, Cameroon.
Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. (rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, flanked on his right by Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Republic of Cameroon, Rene Emmanuel Sadi, and on his left by UNHCR Representative to Nigeria & ECOWAS, Antonio Jose Canhandula (r)
According to him, the Tripartite Commission, set up by the Tripartite Agreement, is tasked with the mission of conducting the process of repatriation of the concerned persons successfully.
Also speaking, UNHCR Representative to Nigeria & ECOWAS, Antonio Jose Canhandula, reiterated the stand of UNHCR that the return of refugees should be safe, dignified, voluntary and durable, and called for proper registration and profiling of refugees, as a security measure.
He reaffirmed the UNHCR’s commitment to collaborating with both governments to ensure the smooth implementation of the Tripartite Agreement.
This would be the first Tripartite Commission since the governments of Cameroon and Nigeria, and the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, signed the Tripartite Agreement on 2 March 2017 for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of refugees from Cameroon to Nigeria, in line with international protection principles, and marked the onset of the implementation phase of the Agreement.