Borno governor visits Niger Republic, plans repatriation of 120,000 refugees

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By Amina Yahaya

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno has visited Niger Republic to discuss modalities for safe and dignified repatriation of 120,000 refugees.

Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser to the governor on Public Relations and Strategy, made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday in Maiduguri.

Mr Gusau said that the governor had on Saturday visited Diffa District of Niger Republic and met with the refugees who fled their homes due to Boko Haram insurgents’ attack since 2014.

He said that the visit to Niger was to contribute in arranging modalities to fast-track safe and dignified return of the refugees for resettlement in Borno.

Mr Gusau said that the governor held similar meetings in the past weeks in Abuja with officials of the Federal Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The governor’s aide added that the meeting centred on discussion for dignified repatriation of Borno citizens taking refuge in Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republics.

“With that meeting in mind; Gov. Zulum traveled to Bosso, Garin Wanzam and Tumur, all in Diffa province, to meet with the refugees.

“Host governor of Diffa, Isa Lameen, led Zulum during the visits alongside Abdulkarim Lawan, Speaker, Borno State House of Assembly.

“Zulum traveled to Diffa from Malam-Fatori, headquarters of Abadam Local Government Council of Borno, which had been a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents, until it was recently regained by the military.

“The visit to Malam-Fatori, is the first time in more than five years by a civilian, it happened same day the governor entered Diffa province in Niger Republic,” Mr Gusau said in the statement.

According to him, Mr Zulum expressed gratitude to the Nigerien authorities and host communities for their hospitality to citizens of Borno, taking refuge in their country.

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