Third country resettlement of Bhutan refugees suggested | india | Hindustan Times
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Third country resettlement of Bhutan refugees suggested

india Updated: Jun 19, 2006 16:40 IST
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The United Nations has suggested the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees lodged in Nepal to a third country if there was no possibility of their repatriation or local integration.

"Third country resettlement can be worked out if there is no other solution and the international community is willing to come forward in order to end the burden of the host country," Resident Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Abraham Abraham told reporters on Sunday.

There are more than 107,000 Bhutanese refugees living in seven camps in eastern Nepal since early 1990s.

Several rounds of bilateral talks between Nepal and Bhutan government have failed to resolve the issue.

Bhutanese refugees have been requesting UNHCR to remove their refugee tag and ensure their fundamental rights, he said, noting this was not possible without their repatriation or resettlement in a third country or local assimilation in Nepal.

He, however, noted that the best option was their repatriation.

On UNHCR's role in bilateral talks, Abraham said, "We should be in a position to be able to accompany the refugees from the camps all the way back to their homes and help them there.

But this is not the case here because we do not have a role now in bilateral talks between Nepal and Bhutan."

"It is very clear that the 16 rounds of bilateral talks did not produce tangible results in terms of repatriation of the refugees. Even a single person was not repatriated after the bilateral talks," he added.