Cameroon immigration authorities have expelled 450 undocumented Nigerians from Kousseri border town with Chad in the Far North.
The Nigerians were part of a larger group of foreign nationals expelled from Chad recently.
The Nigerians were immediately ferried to Mayo-Oulo on border with Nigeria and handed over to Nigerian authorities in the neighbouring town of Mubi in Adamawa State.
The expelled Nigerians have contested the action, describing it as inhumane.
Cameroon authorities say the move was a preventive measure against the increasing threats from the Nigerian Boko Haram terror group.
“They are foreign nationals without valid documents. We are working towards identifying those who are living with us [legally]. The expulsion concerns only foreign nationals without valid documents,” said Mr Albert Mekondané Obounou, the prefect of Cameroon’s Logone and Chari Division.
Cameroon frontier police were also reported to have rounded up scores of Chadian nationals on Wednesday and handed them to N’Djamena at the border.
Other reports said a group of Malians without valid documents was currently under the detention of Cameroon immigration services in the north.
“We decided to send home all foreigners without valid papers. Other countries of the sub-region involved in the fight against Boko Haram had advocated this solution to truly fight against the terrorists who infiltrate people,” a security source said.
According to the same security source, the expulsion of the Nigerians was just the beginning of a crackdown on undocumented foreigners that will continue.
According to official statistics, there were 8,128 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon’s Far North, but only 5,289 were registered by UNHCR.
On June 26, Chad forced out scores of foreign nationals, most of them from Cameroon.
The Cameroon Ambassador to Chad, Mr Bah Omarou Sanda, said it was necessary for all Cameroonians living in Chad to update their residence permits in order to avoid such embarrassments.
(via African Review)