Four hundred Central African Republic refugees who have been living in Cameroon have been voluntarily repatriated to their fatherland.
The refugees were among hundreds of thousands of Central African refugees who have been living on the Gado-Badzere refugee site in Lom-et-Djerem division and in Lolo in the Bombe subdivision of the East Region.
“These voluntary returns by road are coordinated by the Cameroon government, the government of the Central African Republic and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), all of which are partners of the tripartite accord signed on June 29, 2019, for the voluntary repatriation of Central African Republic refugees in dignity and security,” said Olivier Guillaume Beer, the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.
Beer who himself supervised the operations said: “We cannot but thank the Cameroonian authorities and the Cameroonian people for the good welcome they granted these refugees who were all dispossessed on their arrival”.
“The tears we saw in their eyes as they departed were witness to the fact that they have cultivated good friendship relations in this country and that they were already well established in the community,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ representative added.
Out of the 180,000 refugees welcomed in the East Region of Cameroon during the past eight years, 3,559 have already voluntarily returned to the Central African Republic.
Three thousand, three hundred and nine of these voluntarily returned to their country in 2019 while 250 returned at the beginning of this year before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.