It is not news that the international community has been doing very little to end the bloodshed in Cameroon which has resulted in thousands of Anglophones killed and many more to flee to Nigeria. What seems to be news is that the United Nations High commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nigeria appears to be actively engaged in making the plight of refugees worse.
When Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and many others were abducted in Nigeria, on January 5 2018, many people went to the UNHCR for some answers. The argument was that those abducted were refugees in Nigeria and repatriating them to Cameroon was a violation of their Convention Rights. The UNHCR at the time released conflicting information, one of which claimed their representatives were in contact with the abducted persons, whom they claimed were still in Nigeria.
It turned out later that this was false, as the Cameroon minister for Communication confirmed in a Press Conference that those abducted had actually been taken to Cameroon. No official condemnation of the Biya Regime’s actions came from the UNHCR at the time and over 8 months later, there is still no clear indication on what might have happened to all those taken from Nigeria.
To add salt to injury, the UNHCR has today prevented the Ayah Foundation from delivering mich-needed humanitarian assistance to the refugees in Nigeria.
In a statement released by Ayah Ayah Abine, the Director of the Foundation, the UNHCR asked them to seek permission from Abuja. This came as a surprise given that the said foundation has been one of the very few that has been consistent In their support of the injured, internally displaced persons and refugees across the border.
The Ayah Foundation confirms that this visit is the 5th in 7 months to Nigeria. They also confirm that the only time in the past when they have faced difficulties had been when the Cameroon government tried to stop them from going in to Nigeria, a situation which they overcame when the regime came under severe criticisms.
The question worth answering is what exactly is the UNHCR afraid of? Could it be that the work of the Ayah Foundation is exposing their weaknesses as an international relief agency? Could it be because the Ayah Foundation has been doing more to document the actual living conditions of the refugees than the UNHCR? Or may be it is because the UNHCR has colluded with the Regime in Yaounde to ensure that Biya’s plans of exterminating Anglophones is successful.
Whatever the case, the UNHCR has once again shown that most international community organs are totally useless in performing the basic functions they were created to realise.