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Repatriation of refugees, February 27 fixed for the repatriation of Borno refugees taking refuge in Cameroon

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Repatriation of Refugees, February 27 fixed for the repatriation of Borno refugees taking refuge in Cameroon

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

February 27th this month has been fixed for the repatriation of Borno refugees taking refuge in Minawawo of the Cameroon republic, following a two-day visit to Cameroon by Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, and a tripartite commission meeting held on Wednesday night, where they agreed.

About 46,000 Nigerians, mostly from Borno, have been taking refuge in Minawao refugee camp, located in Mokolo, far north region of Cameroon.

Governor Zulum alongside Federal humanitarian officials from Nigeria and Cameroon, were at the Minawao camp Wednesday, before returning to Marwa, capital of the far north region, for a tripartite commission meeting.

The meeting had in attendance; the Cameroonian delegation led by the host country’s Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, Governor of far north Cameroon, Mijinyawa Bakare, and some humanitarian officials, and the Nigerian side led by Governor Zulum, top Officials from the Nigerian High Commission in Cameroon, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Malam Bashir Nura Alkali, and the Ministry’s humanitarian Director, Ali Grema, a representative of the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Mr. Hassan Ejibunu, the Governor’s Adviser on External and Liaison Services, Ambassador Adamu Abbas who is also a member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) established for implementation of the tripartite repatriation agreement, a member of House of Representatives representing Bama, Ngala, Kala-Balge Federal constituency of Borno State, Zainab Gimba, the Director General of Borno State Emergency Management Agency, and some relevant officials.

Zulum’s initial target was to have first batch of 9,800 willing Nigerian refugees repatriated this week for resettlement in newly built houses located in Bama and Banki., However, yesterday’s meeting of the tripartite commission came up with a revised standard operating procedure which was signed by all parties agreeing that repatriation holds on February 27th and March 7th, 2021.

The tripartite commission was established in the aftermath of a tripartite agreement signed in Cameroon on March 2nd, 2017, between Governments of Nigeria, the Republic of Cameroon and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), on repatriation of Nigerian refugees who fled to Cameroon since 2014 over attacks by Boko Haram in parts of Borno and Adamawa States.
The agreement created a legal framework which identified modalities for voluntary, dignified and safe return of refugees to their countries of origin with all parties agreeing to critically assess safety of resettlement destinations, ensure refugees are well informed of the realities of where they will returned in order to make them take informed decisions while neither Nigerian officials nor communities in Cameroon should force refugees to leave. The UNHCR was to keep supporting the refugees and protecting their rights and obedience to local laws under the UN convention.

A tripartite commission with representatives from Nigeria, Cameroon and the UNHCR, was then established to monitor the implementation of the tripartite agreement by ensuring all parties live to their signed commitments in favour of refugees.

It could recalled that Governor Zulum arrived Cameroon on Tuesday evening. Before traveling to Cameroon, Zulum had series of meetings with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Senator Basheer, and with relevant ambassadors, all which meetings aimed at following all established procedures towards lawful repatriation of the refugees in Cameroon.

Majority of refugees at the Minawao refugee camp, who are mostly from Borno State, have regularly appealed to Governor Babagana Umara Zulum to spearhead their repatriation to safe and rebuilt communities in Borno in order to return to decent living.

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Yobe MCRP Partner NGO on GBV Mapping

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Yobe MCRP partner NGO on GBV Mapping.

By Baba Saleh, Damaturu 

The Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project (MCRP), a world Bank, federal and state government supported programme in collaboration with Jhpiego consultant firm have sensitized stakeholders on Gender Based Violence mapping in Yobe State.

Speaking on the objectives of the meeting, MCRP state Project Coordinator Musa Idi Jidawa said it was aimed at incorporating MCRP in support of gender based violence prevention.

Jidawa noted that it was also part of the World Bank mandates to ensure safety and improvement on lives of the benefitting communities wherever project is carried out.

He said the stakeholders were selected from legal, medical, psyco-social support sectors, community leaders among other concerned organisations. 

“We are here today to do what we call a social safety net, safety net in the sense that as a result of project implementation the organisation anticipated influx of labour, and as you all know when a lot of people gather in one area the tendency is that either people or the environment they live may be affected positively or largely negatively .

” One of the issues World Bank envisaged was GBV as a result of the interaction between human beings and they feel if it happens where does the victim goes and seek for support interms of legal, medical among others”

” MCRP will facilitate together with Jhpiego consultants an NGO engaged by the state office of the project to see and map those grey areas of GBV for MCRP support”

In her remarks,  Jphiego maternal and child health technical lead, Hannatu Abdullahi said the organisation is non governmental, non profit organisation that work in the area of health and gender based violence prevention and mitigation. 

She said the firm was contracted by North East Development Commission through the MCRP to conduct gender based violence assessment in three states of the north east of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe with a view to sensitise stakeholders and introduce the project to them. 

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NSCDC Mark’s International Civil Defense Day in Borno

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NSCDC Mark’s International Civil Defense Day In Borno

By Musa Askira, Maiduguri

The Borno State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has marked this year’s International Civil Defence Day in Borno.

Speaking at the occassion on Monday, the State Commandant of the NSCDC, Mr Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the event was a grand finale of the weeklong event which had featured among others to mark the day.

He noted that the theme of this year’s event “Civil Defence as First Aider in Every Home” was inline with the objectives of NSCDC.

Ibrahim said that as first responders during crisis, NSCDC personnel would continue to be trained and equipped to administer various degree of first aid and other medical services to the public.

The commandant lauded UNMAS for the training, which he said was timely as the state government embarked on resettlement of displaced persons back to their ancestral homes with possibility of coming into contact with mines and explosives littered within such ancestral homes planted by insurgents.

The Commandant said NSCDC would extend the training to personnel of private security firms in the state inview of their vital role to security in the state.

In his remarks as Guest Speaker, Mr Derek Somers of UNMAS, assured NSCDC and other security agencies of more training opportunities which he said was being funded by German Government.

Somers lauded the commitment and professionalism shown by personnel of NSCDC during the training and urged them to sustain the tempo.

“I hope we continue the training and go a little further in the next couple of months as we will be looking at training the trainers as part of the programme,” Somers said.

In his goodwill message, a representative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Borno, Mr John Anderson, lauded the vital role of NSCDC in protecting public infrastructure and facilitating conflict resolution and dialogue in the society.

“All of these are significant contributions to comprehensive approach for civil defence and protection which is the cornerstone of community security and stability,” Anderson said.

He urged them to extend their first aid skill to others in the public.

In his remarks, the Chairman of Lincenced Private Security Organisations in Borno, Amb. Usman Danjuma, said as grassroots security organisations in Borno, they would continue to collaborate with NSCDC and other security agencies in securing the state.

Danjuma urged NSCDC for more training of private security personnel, particularly on first aid and other related areas to enhance their services.

Highlight of the occasion was a mock rescue of a blast victims by trained personnel of NSCDC.

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Military recaptured Marte from Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, Scores killed

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Military recaptured Marte from Boko Haram /ISWAP terrorists, scores killed

By Madu Mohammed, Maiduguri

The troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole of the Nigerian Army have recovered Marte and adjoining communities from Boko Haram terrorists. barely less than 48 hours ultimatum given to them by the Chief of Army staff, (COAS), Major General Ibrahim Attahiru

The spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima in a statement issued to newsmen said “the troops of Nigerian Army this afternoon around 3pm, recovered New Marte and adjoining communities from the develish Boko Haram terrorists.”.

This is coming less than the 48 hours directive earlier given to the troops to recover the town by the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru.

“The troops backed by air cover from the Nigerian Air force , successfully charged through Marte town, destroying several Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) and landmines laced across their routes and killing scores of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists and successfully recovered the town.”, General Yerima stated.

The Army further said the gallant troops are currently in total control of the general area. and that details will be made to newsmen very soon.

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