Nigeria repatriates 5 000 foreigners
28 February 2012, 10:30
Nigeria - Nigeria has repatriated about 5 000 foreigners mainly from Niger
and Chad over the past six months to curb a growing Islamist
insurgency, the immigration services said on Monday.
repatriated some 5 000 foreigners, including those who have been refused
entry into the country," immigration services spokesperson Joachim
Olumba told AFP.
An extremist Islamist sect, Boko Haram, has been
blamed for attacks claiming hundreds of lives and has intensified its
violent campaigns in recent months.
The deadly gun and bomb
attacks have shaken Africa's most populous country which is almost
evenly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian
There have been suggestions that the sect draws some of its members from neighbouring countries.
said the repatriation "has been intensified in the past six months
following the Boko Haram insurgency", adding: "We have an obligation to
rid the country of undesirable elements."
He said immigration
officers last week caught 120 people trying to enter illegally from
Niger "and we quickly sent them back to their country".
blamed on Boko Haram, whose specific aims remain largely unclear, has
since 2009 claimed more than 1 000 lives, including over 300 this year
The sect has previously said it wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria's deeply impoverished north.
Nigeria's military authorities last week said Boko Haram has ties with al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (Aqim).
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