Cameroon has deported more than 2,000 Nigerians who were living in the country illegally as part of new security measures intended to prevent suicide attacks by Boko Haram jihadists, according to reports last night.
Regional newspaper L’Oeil du Sahel reported that about 2,500 Nigerians had been “rounded up” in Kousseri, in the far north of Cameroon, and sent back to their country on Thursday.
The weekly posted a photo on its Facebook page showing several departing trucks crammed with hundreds of passengers.
A source close to regional authorities confirmed that “more than 2,000 ‘irregular’ Nigerians have been expelled from Kousseri”.
Mey Aly, an official from a local NGO, said that most of the Nigerians “had fled the atrocities of Boko Haram” to take refuge in Cameroon.
Thursday’s deportations came just a day after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Cameroon for talks on how to combat the escalating regional threat from Boko Haram.
Buhari and Cameroonian counterpart Paul Biya pledged to strengthen cooperation between their two countries in the fight against the insurgents.
The Cameroonian border post at Kousseri — which has been hit by two suicide attacks since June — occupies a strategic position, with just a bridge separating it from Chad’s capital N’Djamena.
Authorities in Cameroon’s far north have taken significant steps to boost security, including banning women from wearing the full face-veil amid fears that suicide bombers could use the garment to conceal explosives.
“With these attacks, the tone of the authorities has changed,” said a security source in Maroua. “They have asked that foreigners (notably Nigerians) and displaced people in the border areas go home.”
Some 300 Cameroonian children were removed from their Koranic schools in Maroua and taken back to their villages on Friday, according to a source close to local authorities, as the schools’ managers feared that insurgents could try to use them for suicide attacks.
APPLY: WTO opens entry for 2022 young professionals programme
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has opened applications for its 2022 Young Professional Programme (YPP).
The programme provides opportunity for young professionals to enhance their knowledge of the organisation and international trade issues.
In 2021, 14 professionals out of 2,400 candidates were selected for the programme from Bangladesh, Belize, Dominican Republic, Eswatini, Guatemala, Georgia, Indonesia, Malawi, Mauritania, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Chinese Taipei and Thailand.
WTO said “The YPP is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience which can help open the door for future professional opportunities in the field of multilateral diplomacy and global trade.
“The YPP selection gives preference to young professionals from developing and least-developed countries that are members of the WTO and whose nationals are currently under-represented or not represented in the organization’s Secretariat.
“The programme is part of the Secretariat’s overall goal to increase its diversity to better reflect the make-up of its membership.”
To be eligible, applicants must be of age 32 as of January 1, 2022, and selected candidates will work at the WTO secretariat for one year, starting from the beginning of next year.
The areas of work at the programme includes accessions, agriculture, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, market access, media and external relations, WTO rules, trade and development, trade and environment, trade in services and investment, trade facilitation, trade policy analysis and trade-related technical assistance.
WTO said candidates must have advanced university degree in law, economics, or other international trade-related subjects relevant to WTO work; must possess relevant expertise or continued academic study in a field of interest to the work of the WTO.
Equally, candidates must similarly have a minimum of two years relevant work experience.
The trade organisation further said selected candidates will be paid $3821.66 (N1,454,141.63 million) monthly and applications can be accessed on the WTO e-Recruitment website and should be completed no later than 29 April 2021.
Buhari receives briefing from Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President had last Thursday returned to the country after a16-day medical trip to London, United Kingdom.
He left Nigeria on Tuesday, March 30, briefly after a security meeting with defense and intelligence chiefs as well as other security sector managers.
Gunmen attack Imo police station, kidnap officer
A police officer has been abducted in an attack on Mbieri Divisional Police Headquarters in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state on Thursday morning.
This comes three days after the state Police Command headquarters and Owerri Correctional Center were attacked while 1,884 inmates released.
A resident of Mbieri said the gunmen released the suspects in custody.
However, the policemen on duty were said to have engaged the attackers in a gun duel but they were reportedly overpowered by the gunmen who had sophisticated weapons.
A community leader, Nokey Ebikam, told newsmen that the police divisional headquarters was not burnt but only freed the suspects in detention after vandalizing it.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the attack on the police station but did not go into details.
It was gathered that aside the officer who was abducted, two others sustained injuries in the incident which is the second major attack on a police station since an armed gang invaded the state police headquarters on Monday.
The Police authorities have blamed the attacks on the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) but the group has distanced itself from the attacks.
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