Nepal discussing repatriation with UN

Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi and Nepal representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Kevin Allen discussed possible options for the long-term solutions to Bhutanese refugees’ problems.

The duo discussed the curtailment of the relief assistance being provided to refugees living in eastern Nepal and possibility of resumption of the supply, Nidhi’s press advisor Ramjee Dahal informed in a statement after the meeting.

Likewise, they also talked about effects of new American President Donald Trump’s immigration policy on the third-country resettlement of the Bhutanese refugees.

There are more than 10,000 Bhutanese refugees living in Jhapa district of Nepal.

Thousands of Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, dubbed Lhotsampas, were forced to leave Bhutan in the early 1990s due to the state-sponsored discrimination and ethnic tension. More than 1,08,000 of them took refuge in the eastern Nepal, while several thousand others are living in Nepal and India without the UNHCR recognition.

Notwithstanding the introduction of third-country resettlement, thousands have expressed their will to return home. Bhutan, however, has shown its reluctance to take them back from Nepal.

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