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Cameroonians released into society; ‘Asylum Seeker Status’ granted; Haitian nationals to be released into local Haitian community

The Ministry of National Security has provided the general public with an update on the status of the fourteen (14) Cameroon nationals who were rescued at sea on March 28th.




Even though it was confirmed last week by the Commander of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Mr. J. Anthony Comrie that one (1) of the Cameroonian (Nicholas Areche) was still at large, a decision was made for the detainees to be released and relocated to an apartment complex in St. Kitts with a view to increase their comfort and sovereignty.




A press release states that on June 8th 2023, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) granted the Cameroon nationals “Asylum Seeker Status”.




According to UNHCR’s definition, an asylum seeker is “someone whose request for sanctuary is yet to be processed”. Therefore, in addition to being protected against forced repatriation to their home country, the Cameroon nationals are entitled to continued humanitarian care while their asylum requests to UNHCR are being processed.




The release added that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to collaborate closely with the UNHCR and provide the Cameroon nationals with the necessary basic humanitarian services. The official Asylum Seeker Certificates were hand-delivered to the Cameroon nationals on June 10th.




This arrangement will remain in place for ninety (90) days while their asylum applications are in progress.




The Haitian Nationals that were kept in detention were released into the care of the local Haitian Community according to a press release. On February 2nd, 2023, fifteen (15) Haitian nationals arrived in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis after their boat malfunctioned in the area of Gallows Bay, Nevis.




According to the statement, following the incident, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has provided the individuals with basic needs including food, water and healthcare while in a government facility.




As of Sunday, June 10th, the individuals have been released into the community following a decision made by the government for “humanitarian reasons.”




Furthermore, the statement went on to highlight the plan of the government to and I quote: “to revise and enhance the nation’s laws on the same matter, as well as the procedures through which asylum is sought” end quote. This is in an effort to strengthen the regional thrust against human trafficking and illegal migration into the country.