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EYLPN Demand A Stop In The Unjust Repatriation Of Innocent Cameroonians By The Nigerian Government, Amidst The Bloody Conflict In The Southern Part Of The Country.

President Muhammadu Buhari.

Since 2016, agitation by the English speaking minority south for a sizeable autonomy, has been met with brutal suppression by the ruling government of the French speaking majority this suppression has resulted in a bloody armed conflict with increased loss of Innocent lives and property, consequently, many English speaking Cameroonians have been fleeing the atrocities and seeking refuge in neighboring countries, including Nigeria.

Unfortunately, the Buhari administration instead of protecting refugees fleeing persecution, decided to collude with Paul Biya, the 86 year old Cameroonian president who has ruled the country for 37 years, and forcefully repatriated these refugees back to Cameroon.  In December 2017, the Nigerian government raided a refugee community in Taraba state, and forcefully abducted and repatriated 37 refugees back to Cameroon. On January 5, 2018, the government abducted 12 southern Cameroonians in a hotel in Abuja and forcefully repatriated them to Cameroon. Also, in another separate incident, the government abducted 11 more in Calabar, and these people were sent back to Cameroon to face persecution. These men and women are innocent, law abiding and responsible citizens of Cameroon and who have been legally residing and working here in Nigeria for decades. 

President Buhari carried out all these forceful repatriations without any bilateral treaty to this effect, between the two countries. Interestingly too, on March 1st this year, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ruled that the Nigerian government violated the rights of these English speaking Cameroonians, and ordered that they be returned to Nigeria, apologized to, and compensated financially for the damages done to them. 

In this regard, the Ethnic Youth Leaders for Peace in Nigeria (EYLPN), a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, poised to seeing peace in Africa, would like to apologize first of all, on behalf of the Nigerian people, to our Cameroonian brothers and sisters who are victims of this unjust, unfair and inhuman treatment by the Muhammadu Buhari Government and wish want to let them know that the actions of president Muhammadu Buhari is in no way, a reflection of the hospitable nature, and milk of human kindness which are in the DNA of Nigerians.  We also salute the effort and the advocacy being carried out by the Justice4NERA10 Campaign Movement who are also championing this same course. We assure you that we stand by you in fighting injustice wherever it occurs. 

In this regard, the Ethnic Youth Leaders for Peace in Nigeria (EYLPN) in a statement signed by the President, Comrade Edede Franklin and the National Secretary, Mallam Bashir Usman Michika demands the following from the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal Government, 1. That the federal government should respect the federal high court ruling of March 1st  this year, which mandates it to return and compensate all those southern Cameroonian refugees who were forcefully repatriated. 

2. That the federal government should assist in their return, guarantee their safety and protection until the ongoing genocidal war in southern Cameroon comes to an end. 

3. That the federal government should take active steps to end all police harassments of all innocent southern Cameroonian refugees.

4. That the federal government unite efforts with all human rights bodies operating in Nigeria, to speed up the documentation of all refugees which have largely been neglected by both parties. 

5. That the federal government should make available essential health facilities and sustainable nutrition for refugees.

6. Nigerian Cameroon relations have been mutually beneficial especially in the areas of trade and counter terrorism. Therefore, the federal government should get actively involved and play a major role in resolving the crisis in Cameroon which has now clearly affected Nigeria in many ways. 

7. The Ethnic Youth Leaders for Peace in Nigeria hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to heed to the above demands within 21 days, starting from today, July 8th, 2019, or face our legal action. 

EYLPN uses this medium to call on the international community; namely the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, the ECOWAS, American and British embassies, and all men of good conscience, to prevail on president Buhari's government to respect court orders, the Rule of Law, and ensure that those refugees whose rights have been violated are compensated in line with the ruling of the Federal High Court.

This, EYLPN says must be done in the interest of peace, justice and fairness across Africa.

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