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General News of Monday, 6 January 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

121 More Cameroonians Return Home From CRA

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Two military aircrafts touched down at the Douala International Airport Thursday evening with more Cameroonians.

Given the bad political situation in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) there are serious concerns about the protection of civilians across the country amid reports of widespread looting and violence. The Cameroonian government began a series of repatriations of its citizens from the CAR following the precarious humanitarian situation.

Two military aircrafts; MA60 and CAZA, transported 121 Cameroonians among them four CAR nationals. One of the CAR citizens was a woman while three others are children ranging between 10 and 13 years of age. The foreign nationals who are from three different families said they left without the knowledge of their parents. They said they felt at home because of the legendary Cameroonian hospitality. As the crisis showed up its ugly head with displacements reported in a number of areas, including Bangui, Ndélé and across the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, from the Mobaye region in the Central African Republic and towards Bertoua in Cameroon, Cameroon set up measures to accommodate refugees who could spill into the country as neighbouring CAR grapples with a humanitarian crisis.

Several civilian and military aircrafts have made flights to and from Bangui during which thousands of Cameroonian citizens have been flown back home. According to the Governor of the Littoral Region, Joseph Beti Assomo, 2,095 persons have been flown home via civil aircrafts, while the military has made 31 trips to the war torn Central African Republic and has transported 1,592 in addition to yesterday's contingent. Before their arrival at about 4:30 pm and 5 pm yesterday, January 2, 2014, a delegation of the Crisis Unit at the Littoral Governor's Office was ready to receive them. After a warm welcome, deportees were transported to their various destinations.

There were also some families that waited to receive their brothers and sisters who have successfully returned home. A mixed feeling of remorse and joy described them as families hugged their members so tightly, expressing thanks to God and President Paul Biya for saving them.

Cameroon hosts a big refugee and asylum seeking population of 103,671 as of January 2012, with most of them coming from CAR and Chad. The refugees are largely dependent on humanitarian aid, according to the United Nation's refugee agency, UNHCR.

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