Southern Cameroons Crisis: 14 Ambazonians receive asylum seeker status in St Kitts-Nevis 0

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has granted Asylum Seeker Status to fourteen Cameroonian individuals who were held in St Kitts and Nevis after being rescued at sea in March 2023.

According to the Ministry of National Security, the UNHCR granted this to Cameroonian people on June 8, 2023. As defined by the UNHCR, an asylum seeker is “someone whose request for sanctuary has yet to be processed.”

According to the Ministry, in addition to being safeguarded against forced repatriation to their home country, Cameroonian nationals are entitled to ongoing humanitarian treatment while their asylum applications to UNHCR are being considered.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to work closely with UNHCR to offer basic humanitarian services to Cameroon people.

The formal Asylum Seeker Certificates were hand-delivered to Cameroonian nationals at noon on June 10, 2023, and the extended humanitarian provisions agreed to by the government were also clearly stated to them.

The government’s decision to release them from custody and relocate them to an apartment complex in order to increase their comfort and autonomy is one such consideration. This agreement will last for 90 days while their asylum applications are processed.

In response, Cameroonian nationals expressed the following three demands and announced that their hunger strike, which began on June 9, 2023, would continue until they were met:

They would like to have a United Nations identification card.

They desire to communicate with the US Embassy or the US Congress.

They want to be relocated to their Cameroonian friends and family in Texas, where they claim they are legally protected.

According to the Ministry of National Security, it was informed to the Cameroonian nationals that these demands are beyond the scope and jurisdiction of the Government of St Kitts and Nevis, with the exception of giving access to contact with the US Embassy. In this regard, they have been given the necessary email addresses, phone numbers, and the physical address of the US Embassy in Barbados.

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will be revisiting its asylum legislation and procedures in the near future, as the government has stated that it cannot and will not allow illegal migration in the future. As a sovereign nation, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis is emphatic that the country will not become a safe haven for human traffickers and people who enter the country illegally.

Source: St Vincent Times