Borno Government has said it plans to evacuate 78,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Cameroon.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected IDPs fled to Cameroon at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
The IDPs had, a week ago, urged the state government to facilitate their return home or they will trek back to Nigeria.
Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Ahmad Satome, told newsmen in Maiduguri that government plans to shelter the returnees in four temporary satellite camps.
“The issue of the 78,000 Nigerian IDPs is purely a repatriation process; it is just to get them across the Cameroonian border back home.
“Once they are back, we will get them transported to transit camps in Kumshe, Gulumba, Ngoshe and Kirawa where they will feed for a week or thereabout, so they can stabilise before asking them where they want to go.
“IDPs without homes or those whose communities are unsafe will be kept in the camps while those who want to return home will be transported home.
“But for those who wish to remain in Cameroon, they will be allowed to stay in accordance with the Geneva Convention,” he said.
Satome said the state government is focused on ensuring early return of all IDPs to their communities, especially those in areas liberated by the military.
“It is true that government is resolute in ensuring all IDPs return home in a dignified manner in accordance to the Kampala convention.
“But, sometimes, lots of uncertainties come in,” he said.
He said continued rescue of persons by the military from terrorists enclaves had created new IDPs requiring attention.
“The intensed pressure by the military on Boko Haram enclaves have led to rescue of new IDPs requiring care.
“This means that they have to be kept in camps for care and other humanitarian services,” he said.
The SEMA boss said, however, that government was resolute in moving IDPs who were interested in going back to camps close to their homes.
” I think it is unwise to keep 2,000 IDPs from Ngala in Maiduguri when you have about 200,000 others in Ngala town.
“I think that the best thing is to move those willing to camps in their respective areas from where they can gradually move home,” he said.