The Lake Chad Basin humanitarian emergency is among the most severe in the world. The protracted conflict has uprooted around 2.5 million people, stoked high levels of hunger and malnutrition, and subjected millions of civilians to extreme hardship. Insecurity is hampering the resumption of normal life, leaving conflict-affected families dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival.
More than 9,000 people have fled to Cameroon’s Far North region after an armed raid on 14 January on Rann town in neighbouring Nigeria.
Thousands among them were forced back by Cameroonian authorities, according to UNHCR which voiced alarm over the refoulement and urged Yaoundé to halt further forced returns and continue allowing refugees to seek safety. Some 267 other Nigerian refugees who had fled violence in 2014 had also been forced back.
Cameroon currently hosts around 100,000 Nigerian refugees. Some 6,000 Nigerians have also fled the recent hostilities to Chad’s western Lac region. Armed attacks are on the rise in north-east Nigeria. The raid on Rann, home to 76,000 internally displaced people, also disrupted humanitarian operations. The attackers destroyed a clinic, warehouses stocking relief supplies and aid workers’ houses. Fourteen aid workers have been withdrawn after the attack. The latest surge in violence has also forced the pull out of around 260 aid workers from three local government areas in north-east Nigeria. It was the largest withdrawal of humanitarian workers since aid response was scaled up in 2016. While aid workers have started to return to some areas, insecurity is preventing a full resumption of humanitarian operations.