UNHCR tells refugees not to cross border

Damak, August 17:

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) today warned the Bhutanese refugees not to initiate repatriation on their own. In a letter to all seven refugee camps in Jhapa and Morang, UNHCR said: “Repatriation is a bilateral process between the governments of Nepal and Bhutan. The UNHCR has not been requested to participate in the process.”

The rights body said it might be unsafe for the refugees to be involved in the self-repatriation campaign, adding that the “commission is not capable of monitoring repatriation and rehabilitation of the refugees in their home country.” The letter also said that the steps taken by the refugees are not in line with the agreement between Nepal and Bhutan. The UNHCR urged refugees not to repeat such actions without the consent of both the governments.

“If repatriation starts with the consent of both the governments, the refugees will be given prior notices,” it is stated in the letter.