At least seven Nepali men have decided to return home after 19 months of detention in a Micronesian island while they were attempting to reach Australia, New Zealand or the United States unlawfully.
Sixteen Nepali men and 18 Indian men were detained at a wharf in Yap since the boat they were travelling on was detained in November 2014, ABC Online reported.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said seven of the Nepalese men would now return home.
According to the reports, when they landed on Yap, one of the Federated States of Micronesia in the north-western Pacific Ocean, they told local police they were hoping to reach Australia, New Zealand or the United States.
They have been detained ever since on a Yap wharf in conditions described by locals as “dire”.
A local clam farmer, Australian citizen Phillipe Dor, said at the time the boat’s crew said they were sent there, with the guidance of GPS, by Indonesian people smugglers who assured them they would be taken from Yap to Australia or elsewhere.
Philip Raffilpiy of the IOM’s office in Yap said the Nepali men who had opted to return home had done so of their own will.
“It appears they’re in a very clear state of mind, they know what they’re doing,” he told Pacific Beat.
“I would not say more on that because they have been here for over a year and maybe they’re stressed and tired of being here and it may have helped them make the decision.”
Mr Raffilpiy said the rest of the Nepali men were reluctant to leave.
The process of determining whether the Nepali men were genuine refugees was still ongoing, he said.
He said moves were also underway to repatriate the Indian men, with the assistance of the Indian Government, which was providing passports and coordinating travel arrangements with Micronesian officials.
“It is the Government of India’s [will] that all those from India should go back,” Mr Raffilpiy said.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.