Cameroon has expelled more than 3,000 Nigerians as part of the fight against Boko Haram, officials said on Tuesday.
Cameroon’s government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said suspected Boko Haram fighters disguised as refugees with explosives hidden in their luggage were arrested at a camp in northern Cameroon Monday.
They deported Nigerians who said they were refugees but were not staying at camps and lacked identification papers.
“In the different villages there is a certain population of foreigners and they are hiding behind some Cameroonians and hiding those Boko Haram suspects,” Midjiyawa Bakary said.Women, children and men were taken across the border to the Nigerian town of Mubi, he said.
In Nigeria, many of those expelled said they were forced out quickly.
“It was a terrible journey. We spent almost six days on the road,” said Musa Kawuri, a 52-year-old trader. “We initially pleaded with the Cameroonian officials to give us grace of some days,” but were put in trucks.
Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency chairman Haruna Hamman Furo said 12,000 Nigerians are expected to arrive from Cameroon.
Everyone expelled would be sent to Yola, Adamawa’s state capital, said National Emergency Management Agency Camps Coordinator in Adamawa, Sa’ad Bello.
“Their condition is good,” he said. But some refugees said that several people died during their hike to the border.