Cameroon 'Expels' Nigerians

Cameroon has expelled 517 Nigerians, including 313 asylum seekers, who fled the insurgency by militant Islamist group Boko Haram, the UN High Commission for Refugees has said, AFP news agency reports.

UNHCR said it was "very concerned" about the expulsions and it urged Cameroon to offer asylum and respect international conventions against the forced repatriation of asylum seekers, AFP adds.

The UN body said it planned to sign an agreement with Cameroon and Nigeria on 2 March for the voluntary return of 85,000 Nigerian refugees.

Correspondents say a similar crisis has developed in East Africa, where Kenya's government has been trying to close down the Dadaab refugee camp and forcibly repatriate Somalis who fled the insurgency by militant Islamist group al-Shabab.

On 9 February, a Kenyan court blocked the plan to close the camp, saying it amounted to "group persecution".