At the peak of Boko Haram insurgency in North East of Nigeria, Cameroon provided a haven for Nigerians fleeing the insurgency.

Cameroon was where they sought refuge.

But the situation is now reversed. Things have fallen apart in the English speaking part of Cameroon and the people are fleeing enmasse to Nigeria.

As you read this, no fewer than 43,000 Cameroonians have fled as refugees to Nigeria.

These people are escaping a crackdown by the government on Anglophone separatists.

The figure is almost three times as high as that given by the United Nations and Nigerian officials two weeks ago.

Cameroon is a majority French-speaking country but two southwestern regions bordering Nigeria are Anglophone.

Last October, separatists declared independence for a state they want to create called Ambazonia, sparking a military crackdown by the government of President Paul Biya.

Also Read: Cameroon's English Speakers Are Fleeing To Nigeria In Their Thousands

This is even as more than 33,000 Cameroonians have taken refuge from violence in Cross River State, which borders Western Cameroon, according to John Inaku, who is Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA.

In neighbouring Benue state, there are 10,216 refugees, said Emmanuel Shior, Director General of the regional SEMA.

Earlier this month, the UN refugee agency had said more than 8,000 refugees were in Cross River state.

Explaining the disparity, Inaku told Reuters the UN agency was only registering people in Cross River coming in through conventional routes.

“This is a war situation and refugees are trooping in by the minute through the bush paths, rivers and every other unconventional routes open to them,” he said.

“During our advocacy to our border communities we told them to allow the refugees in and not be hostile to them so our communities have been receiving them warmly and accommodating them. These are very remote areas, hard to reach without good roads,” Inaku said.

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