The Government of Cameroon have been exhorted to respect human rights of all citizens for the sake of peace.
The appeal was made Monday, by United Nations High Commission for Refugees representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Antonio Canhandula, in Makurdi.
Speaking ti newsmen, Canhandula said the instability in Anglophone Cameroon had forced thousands of citizens to seek asylum in Nigeria.
He said Cameroonian Government should explore alternative ways of engaging with those who feel aggrieved for the sake of peace and that both parties should respect human rights.
“UNHCR urges the Government of Cameroon to explore ways of engaging with those who feel aggrieved, for the sake of peace.
“We also reiterate the need for respect of human rights by all parties involved,’’ Canhandula said.
He said the refugees complained of exclusion from the national life by the Cameroonian Government, political processes and important positions in the government.
“Longstanding grievances against the central government in Cameroon took a new turn in 2016 when a group of Anglophone Cameroonians triggered civil society-led demonstrations.
“This was based on allegations of marginalisation by the authorities, particularly in the education and justice system.
“Initially, the protesters called for the return to a federal system of government and greater autonomy.
“However, on Oct. 1, 2017, the separatist movement, Ambazonia Governing Council, declared unilaterally the independence of Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest Regions.
“Tensions ensued with government security forces clashing with movement, resulting in injuries and deaths and leading to an influx of English-speaking Cameroonians into Nigeria.