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Nepalese government plans to relocate five Bhutanese refugee camps

The government of Nepal recently announced that it hopes to relocate five of the seven Bhutanese refugee camps in eastern Nepal over the next two years, according to IRIN News. The people living at these camps have been there since the early 1990s, when nearly 108,000 Bhutanese people were evicted from their homes by a government law that stripped them of their citizenship.

“Given the large number of people that have been resettled, this is a logical move,” Jay Mukunda Khanal, head of Nepal’s National Unit for the Coordination of Refugee Affairs, told the news source. “We hope to complete this effort by the end of 2012.”

The UN Refugee Agency estimates that more than 43,500 refugees from Bhutan have been resettled in third countries since 2007. The U.S. has been the recipient of the largest number of those, with 37,000 individuals coming to the country.

The seven camps still hold 69,203 refugees, around 75 percent of whom have shown interest in being relocated to a third country, according to the news source.

CNN reports that the first Bhutanese refugees to enter the U.S. arrived on Tuesday, March 25, 2008.  
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