Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2017, 11:39 GMT

U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Cameroon

Publisher United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Publication Date 25 May 2004
Cite as United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Cameroon , 25 May 2004, available at: [accessed 24 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Cameroon hosted nearly 25,000 refugees and asylum seekers at the end of 2003, including, 17,000 from Nigeria, some 4,000 from Congo-Kinshasa, and more than 4,000 from other African countries. Nearly 2,000 people sought asylum in Cameroon in 2003.

Nearly 8,000 Cameroonians sought asylum in industrialized countries during 2003. Fewer than 200 refugees in Cameroon repatriated during the year. UNHCR Cameroon helped resettle a small number of refugees to Canada and the United Sates during the year.

Refugees from Nigeria

The Nigerian refugees remaining in western Cameroon at the end of the year fled during 2002. Nearly all were ethnic Fulani herdsmen who had entered northwest Cameroon with hundreds of thousands of cattle after fleeing attacks by Mambila farmers in southeastern Nigeria.

Although Cameroon did not receive a significant influx of Nigerian refugees in 2003, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) opened an office near the Nigerian border in Banyo, Adamawa Province, to assist refugees who arrived the year before. Nigerians, like all refugees in the country, lived independently with limited assistance since UNHCR operated no refugee camps in Cameroon. The Cameroonian Red Cross provided Nigerian refugees with education, health care, and financing for micro-projects. The World Food Programme (WFP) provided over 1,000 tons of emergency food aid to Nigerian refugees during the year.

Chadians in Cameroon

Civil war and insurrections in Chad pushed waves of Chadian refugees into Cameroon during the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, improved security conditions in Chad have prompted Chadian refugees to leave Cameroon and return home.

UNHCR has helped about 7,000 Chadians return home from Cameroon since the beginning of a voluntary repatriation operation launched in 1999. More than 200 Chadians arrived in Cameroon during 2003.

Most of the estimated 40,000 Chadians who remained in Cameroon at the end of 2003 appeared increasingly unlikely to repatriate because they had already integrated into local communities and were largely self-sufficient. The U.S. Committee for Refugees no longer classifies them as refugee-like.

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