The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Three more countries to resettle Nepal based Bhutanese refugees

Three more countries to resettle Nepal based Bhutanese refugees

Three more countries in addition to United States have shown willingness to take in Bhutanese refugees staying in eastern Nepal, local The Kathmandu Post daily reported Friday.

"Australia, New Zealand and Canada-plus some other European countries have already agreed to resettle refugees in their respective countries," the English language daily quoted Abraham United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) representative for Nepal, as saying.

The U.S. had offered to resettle 60,000 refugees in October this year.

"These are the major resettlement countries," he said, adding, however, that the countries have not announced the number yet because, he believes, exact number of refugees is not known.

Australian ambassador to Nepal Graeme Lade also said that his country was ready to 'take its share'. "But, we have to decide in this regard following the result of Nepal-Bhutan talks scheduled for Nov. 21-22," he said

Meanwhile, U.S. offer for resettlement has brought split among refugees with some stressing on repatriation to Bhutan and some others accepting international offers in case repatriation process is not started soon, according to the reports.

There are 106,000 Bhutanese refugees staying at different seven camps in eastern Nepal for last more than one and half decades. The UNHCR has started a census to find out the exact number of refugees.

Source: Xinhua

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