Cameroon

UNHCR condemns deadly attack on internally displaced people in north Cameroon

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Internally displaced people in Nguetchewe, northern Cameroon. © UNHCR/Moise Amedje

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, strongly condemns an attack which killed seven people and wounded 14 others at Goldavi, a village hosting internally displaced people in Cameroon’s Far North Region on 1 September.

The suicide bomb attack took place near Kolofata, close to the border with Nigeria, where some 18,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) have sought safety over the past seven years. It comes just a month after 18 people died and 15 were injured in an attack by an armed group attack against the Nguétchéwé IDP site on the second of August.

“We are horrified by these senseless attacks on people who have been torn from their villages, fleeing violence perpetrated by armed gangs which rage in the region, only to be stripped of safety again after they just found refuge elsewhere,” said Olivier Guillaume Beer, UNHCR Representative in Cameroon.

“The killing of innocent civilians has to stop. This is contrary to international humanitarian law and human rights law. We call on armed groups to respect the rights and lives of civilians populations.”

An estimated 7,000 Cameroonians from Kordo and Guérédou villages near the country’s border with Nigeria have fled their homes since 11 August, seeking safety in neighbouring areas.

The displaced population has been targeted in relentless attacks, forcing them to flee.

Recent attacks follow a significant rise in violent incidents in Cameroon’s Far North Region, including looting and kidnapping by Boko Haram and other armed groups active in the region. Brutal violence has plagued the Lake Chad Basin, killing more than 30,000 people and forcing over three million to flee. Some 2.7 million people are now displaced internally in Northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Another 300,000 Nigerian refugees have fled into neighbouring countries.

For more information on this topic, please contact:

  • In Yaounde, Xavier Bourgois, bourgois@unhcr.org, +237 690 049 996
  • In Dakar (regional), Romain Desclous, desclous@unhcr.org, +221 77 786 396 385
  • In Geneva, Boris Cheshirkov, Communications Officer, cheshirk@unhcr.org, +41 79 433 7682
  • In New York, Kathryn Mahoney, mahoney@unhcr.org, +1 347 443 7646