So who is coming with the Bhutanese?

If this article is accurate, it looks like there could be others of unknown nationality resettling in the West from the refugee camps in Nepal.

KATHMANDU, 30 March 2008 – As one of the world’s largest third-country resettlement processes started this week in Nepal, with over 10,000 Bhutanese refugees scheduled to be resettled in various Western countries by the end of 2008, Bhutan has disputed that all the refugees are in fact from Bhutan.

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Sonam Tobgay, head of the policy division of the Bhutanese Foreign Ministry, told IRIN on 27 March: “It is… factually incorrect to term all the people in the camps [in eastern Nepal] Bhutanese. Bhutan cannot accept a blanket reference to all the people in the camps as being ‘refugees’ from Bhutan.”

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Tobgay said the problem of the people in the camps in eastern Nepal was not straightforward: “It is a highly complex issue with its genesis in illegal immigration, in a region marked by vast population movements, porous and open borders, poverty, environmental degradation and political instability.”

We’ve heard rumors that there is rampant corruption when United Nations employees approve refugees for resettlement; we hope that is not the case here because literally tens of thousands are expected to be brought to the West from Nepal over several years.

Some refugees have complained there has been an unclear process of selecting refugee families for interview.

This article says some of the first are headed to Arizona.    We reported several resettlement cities last week here.   Start reading back from here if you want to follow our coverage of the decision to bring Bhutanese to the US and the conflict that decision has created in the camps where many do not want to come. 

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