Somali tourists demand refugee status in Nepal
About 35 Somalis, including children and women, on Wednesday afternoon demanded the refugee status from the Nepal government.
They sat-in nearby the Kathmandu District Administration with some placards on which they wrote their demand for refugee status as well as waive-off of their overstaying fees in Nepal.
Some of them even came to the UNHCR’s care and maintenance office at Hanumansthan in Kathmandu. However, the UNHCR based in Nepal did not have any information on this.
A Somali youth, 19, (he called himself Abdul) said in broken English that they were from war-tattered Somalia and wanted to get the refugee status from the government of Nepal.
A Somali lady, 24, could not speak English. She tried to explain in Somali itself but in vain. Yet her acting showed that she belonged to a well-to-do class in Somalia. Most of the participants in the sit-in program looked prosperous and excited.
This reporter could not contact the immigration sources that could give some responsible information regarding the alleged involvement of immigration officials in earning commissions from rich Somalis.
However, informal sources claim that international brokers, collaborating with their Nepali counterparts with much experience in refugee business, have been bringing many Somalis into Nepal.
A Somali boy whom this reporter had met in Kathmandu in 1996 said that his intention was not to stay long in Nepal but to move to Europe or America for better opportunities.
Admitting that he was from a rich feudal family background, he demanded with this reporter meals and drinks in five star hotels and expensive restaurants while he had refused to enter ordinary restaurants.
Nepal government so far does not have any policy of accepting refugees other than Bhutanese and Tibetans.
Tags: Somalia , Somalis , Nepal , UNHCR , Brokers , Commission , Refugee Status , Kathmandu , Tourists
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.