IOM Helps Chadian Migrants Stranded in Cameroon to Return Home
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 5, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Three years since the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) began, IOM is continuing to help stranded Chadian migrants in Cameroon, who fled CAR and wish to return home. Over the weekend of May 2nd and 3rd, IOM transported 179 Chadian migrants from Cameroon to Chad by road.
The migrants were accommodated at the Djako transit site in the south of Chad. The site is managed by IOM. WFP provides food, UNICEF provides Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides medical services.
As the result of the CAR crisis in December 2013, hundred thousands of migrants were forced to flee for their lives, either by returning to their countries of origin, or by seeking refuge in neighboring countries, including Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Congo Brazzaville.
Migrants of Chadian origin were the most affected by the crisis. Many succeeded in returning to Chad independently, while others were assisted by the Chadian government or by IOM.
At the request of various governments, IOM has also been facilitating the return home of their stranded nationals from countries neighboring CAR, mainly Cameroon and Congo Brazzaville.
“Throughout last year we ensured the safe transportation and return home of hundreds of migrants back to their countries of origin either by road or by air,” said Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Chief of Mission in Chad.
“It took longer for the Chadian authorities to approve this group's request for repatriation because of security concerns due to the Boko Haram insurgency in the sub-region, which has forced the Government of Chad to officially close all its borders with the neighbouring countries.”
In December 2014, IOM Cameroon received additional funds from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to facilitate the return of 600 Third Country Nationals (TCNs) and migrants from Chad, Mali, Senegal, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who had fled the CAR crisis. The TCNs and migrants were stranded in Kentzou, Libongo, Bela, Yokadouma and Garoua Boulai in the East of Cameroon.
IOM, the Chadian Embassy in Cameroon, the Cameroonian and the Chadian authorities worked together to ensure the safe return of the migrants back to Chad.
The Government of Chad and the humanitarian community are seeking to reintegrate and stabilize the tens of thousands of returnees who fled CAR and have since returned to Chad. The majority of more than 100,000 Chadians who returned from CAR are currently hosted in temporary sites in N'Djamena and in the south of the country. Some 30,000 have returned to their homes in Chad.
IOM is still looking for additional funding to address the ensuing mid- and longer term needs of returnees in Chad, including reintegration, community stabilization, social cohesion, psychosocial support and family reunification.