United Nations now involved in case of Camaroonian refugees in St. Kitts


(WINN) — The United Nations (UN) is now involved in the case of the 14 Cameroonians currently on St. Kitts after being rescued off the coast of the island, having left Antigua for the US Virgin Island at the end of March 2023 says St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister.

According to the Prime Minister, UN officials are expected to assess the 14 and present that report to officials outlining the way forward.

“I went and visited them, the Cameroonians – for full disclosure – I wanted to know who they are. Why are they here? Interestingly enough, when I met them, they are well-educated people. I went in; I knew Cameroonians speak French and English… they are bilingual; not only that, there are teachers among them, lawyers, business people, there are IT specialists and so forth… the Cameroonians are professionals from what I picked up and what I gleaned… however I said that we would get the United Nations involved. The United Nations is now involved, and they are going to start their own assessment, and from their assessment, they will give us a report and then based on the report, we will take our final action.” – Prime Minister Hon. Dr Terrance Drew made those remarks during the May 11 broadcast of the Roundtable; A Special Interview with the Prime Minister.

Dr. Drew also shared that the bodies of the three bodies recovered from the ocean while rescue operations were underway for 32 individuals have still not been claimed by family.

“There are three bodies here from those who died. I have said to them that if nobody claims the bodies – and we asked the UN to help us to see if there are any family members in the United States who can claim the bodies. We will find out what their religion is; if they are Muslim, we will get a Muslim Imam to come in and bury them. If there are Christians, then we are a Christian Society; we will get a Pastor to bury them. But we will make sure they are buried with the greatest of respect and in accordance with the religion they practice… When the UN gives us the assessment, we will know who they are, the religion they practice and give them a burial that is fitting of a human. We are civilised people, and irrespective of all the human trafficking issues, we as civilised people.”

The 14 individuals were set to be repatriated to Antigua and Barbuda, their last port of legal entry. However, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne said it would be ill-advised to have them sent back to his country, saying, “Why bring them back when they are likely to smuggle out of the country again.”

Browne said the challenge was that some people claimed that sending them back to Cameroon would likely result in their death. The Antiguan Prime Minister said that he asked the French ambassador for assistance from France to get the Cameroonians back to their native land.

In April, nine of the 16 detainees escaped the detention facility, with all but one, Nicolas Santana Areche, back in police custody. Areche, a citizen of Antigua and a Dominican Republic native, is still missing.

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  1. The St. Kitts PM is a caring leader. Look how respectfully he speaks to and of those unfortunate Africans who have perished because of this scheme cooked up by Gaston Browne. Compare his kind and caring sentiments to those of this dog at the helm of the Antiguan government. Our PM does not discriminate. All and sundry is the target of his nasty, condescending and disrespectful ways. He does not like people and he especially has a deep dislike for Antiguans.

  2. Great. Hopefully we can get somewhere with this. Look how far reaching the effects of Gaston’s recklessness and greed have gotten us. They’re a disgrace!

  3. Porkston Browne, they coming for you. You will be somebody’s bitch somewhere and we can’t wait to hear you scream like a litle bitch. When that happens, Antigua will be a much country.

  4. St. Kitts is a civilized place with a compassionate leader in comparison to the cold hearted dictator, Gaston Browne.

  5. The Kittisans stance are admirable, however, I don’t think people should get carried away with the stance of Gaston’s migrants. The author narrated that the West Africans are learned people, Gaston has alluded similar rhetorics.

    It is assumed that because Gaston’s migrants are “learned” and skilled people”they are incapable of being crooked, fraudsters and untrustworthy.

    It’s inconceivable that learned and skilled people would leave their homeland to destined to shores far away from their hemisphere. Many of them have never heard of Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, the US Virgin Islands, but they took it upon themselves to end up on our shores to smuggled they way into US territories. People should stop feeding into their deception, as it only serves to reinforced their deception. In addition, it should not be assumed that learned people are incapable of committing crime on a monumental level as being demonstrated by Gaston’s migrants.
    It’s the norm that learned people would independently take it upon themselves to smuggled out of a safe country to travel on an overcrowded boat without life jackets.

    Once their crookedness was exposed they accused Antiguans of discrimination and of being inhospitable to them when in fact Antiguans have been extremely kind to them, probably more so than they deserved. They have lied from the beginning: they were in transit tourists, they were only going to be in Antigua for 2 days their 2 days have turned into 6 months and in that short space of time they have engaged in fraudulent activities that Antigua’s broken police services failed to prosecute them.

    Notwithstanding, they have caused embarrassment to Antigua on a monumental level. I am no fan of Gaston Browne or ALP, but on this occasion, I support the stance GB has taken. I also take the view the ones in Antigua should be returned to West Africa.

    The Caribbeans relies heavily on tourism, not asylum seekers, our economy is not on that level that Caribbean doors should be used as a place for so called asylum seekers.
    The UN should come with an agreed plan to return them to West Africa whether they want to leave or not, it should not be optional. If indeed it is true that they could face persecution in their homeland, they are safe countries in West Africa: Ghana, sirre Leon, Ivory Coast and others places where they could claim asylum.
    I cannot think of one West African country that would open their doors to us. Caribbean Islands experience hurricane on a yearly basis, some years with devastating consequences. How many West African country has ever come to our aid? None that I know of.

    How many West African country has apologise to the Caribbean for their part with the enslavement of the Caribbean people? None.

    As harshly as it may appear, they should be given a clear message, their time is up, they will never get to smuggled into US territories.

  6. There have been at least 4 other boats leave Antigua, headed to usvi. Only 40% of them are still in Antigua. Lord bless them, give them safe passage.

  7. Thank you UN for intercepting in this fiasco..
    Hopefully we will get to the bottom of this tragedy!
    Ps.. these Cameroonians came from Antigua!!!
    Pay attention folks..
    Things are about to hit the fan!!!
    Thank you government of st.kitts.

  8. @Sandra Clarke, they may have travelled from out if Antigua, but they are not citizens of Antigua and Barbuda; they remains citizens of the West African state that they came from.

    They claimed that they were not trafficked, but parted $5000US dollars for a one way ticket to Antigua. What intelligent individual would pay that amount of money for a one way ticket, which did not include accommodation?
    They have consistently demonstrated that they are throughly dishonest people.
    I am reserved that the UN investigator will be able to advance any further with them.

    Hopefully, the UN will assist with providing all of them with a one way ticket to West Africa for all of them.

  9. Billybab- I doubt that 40% of them are still here. They gave left and still leaving by boats , to Martin, BVI , USVI,Trinidad & Guyana mostly and head across South America to the US Borders. So let us talk numbers . Let us say approximately 700 of them came here. I will say that about 550 left already including those that met a tragic end. This is no joke more then 400 of those that left Antigua are already in the USA and working at that. When those success stories reaches those that are left here it impresses on their minds that they too need to get going. They are not the only one that are using Antigua and the Caribbean to smuggle themselves into the US. Thousands of Chinese and Indians and other nationals are doing the very same thing. They are coming here on legal flights to onward destinations that leads to the US. Since PHL Barbuda I heard some people are using Barbuda also. The Africans are now using Barbuda also . Several left after sailing week.
    These Africans have no intention of staying in Antigua. Yes Antigua is a safe place for them but not economically viable , especially in earning fast money to send back to their home land to support- their families that throw up to get them out. They are hard working and as someone said both St.Kitts and Antigua PMs said Educated. I wish them future happiness, success and safe journeys to their destinations of choice. The Earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof and those that dwell in it. They are from Christian communities and mostly Catholic by religion. God bless all of earth’s peoples.

  10. No one talks about the Nigerian-Antiguan in our midst who planed and orchestrated this entire fiasco when he realized Antigua people ‘fooley’ with welcome!
    Mr. Olabanjo, Senior officer Agriculture Extension Department has been planning this great Nigerian-Antiguan ‘dupe’ as per PM, for years.
    He has tried several routes finally striking it rich as he & his Nigerian counterparts set up the Nigerian Antiguan Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria, of which he is a Director.
    We shall soon hear all that this organization has done to damage the name of Antigua!

    • @I don’t know my name,

      I have been saying for ages that Olabanjo is a crook and he is firmly behind Gaston’s migrants presence in Antigua.

      Obasanjo stated on national radio: 1. He is “tight” with the PM Gaston Browne 2. Antigua’s population is low and that’s why Gaston’s migrants were brought to improve Antigua’s population. 3.The early morning arrival of Gaston’s migrants, Olabano used government’s vehicle to taxi some of those migrants to unknown locations in Antigua. 4.The chief Immigration Officer was also in attendance to receive the human cargo at the time outside the airport’s hours of business.
      All of the above suggests very strongly that Olabanjo has a case to answer and he must be brought under scrutiny: I want to know how he obtained his position in Antigua, who confirmed his position, what checks were carried out varying his alleged qualifications?

      In his case checks should go as far as his place of birth registration, nursery and primary school, secondary school and ultimately, University. It is highly possible that Olabanjo is not his real name, he has falsified his qualifications.
      There is no doubt in my mind that Olabanjo is the mastermind behind Gaston’s migrants presence in Antigua. It appears that UPP has gone mute on this matter. I do understand that investigation of this nature involving human trafficking requires money. However, there are charity organisations like Amnesty International and other agencies that are opposed to human trafficking that would offer assistance with bringing people like Olabanjo before the courts for Human Rights. Come on UPP, use available services to expose Gaston and his tight friend Olabanjo.

  11. This is why a public inquiry is so important. We need all the facts and individuals need to be punished for their crimes; no matter what office they hold or their nationality. We need to do the right thing.

  12. Boy the Gaston haters are all up and fired up.
    Was it not the Gaston Browne administration who invited the UN to come and assist us with the migrant issue? Didn’t they present a report? And did the report anywhere mention anything about migrant smuggling or human trafficking? I guess the haters do not remember any of that. Well, the report is still available for any of you that is interested in learning the truth.

  13. Was it not the UN who interviewed refugees from Cameroon, residing in Antigua and among their findings was that they were being discriminated against? Seems persons forget “The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will analyze the situation of a group of African migrants in Antigua and Barbuda, the Government disclosed.” Always amazing that for some when Gaston does it its wrong, but when another leader (Motley, Drew) does same, its great.

    • Tenman, let me run you now.
      Ah way Barbuda Sand Mining gone?

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