7 Nepalis in Tikrit in ‘rescue’ priority

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
7 Nepalis in Tikrit in ‘rescue’ priority

Jun 29, 2014-

Amid 40 of the Nepalis working in Iraq expressing their desire to leave the strife-torn country, the government deems it urgent to pull out seven of its citizens trapped in Tikrit first.

However, officials do not have immediate channels to reach out to the seven as Tikrit faces heavy bombardment and the Nepalis caught there cannot easily reach a nearby safe location.

Prem Giri of Jhapa, Mohan Kumar Basnet of Morang and Top Bahadur Basnet of Dang, Dhan Bahadur BK of Rukum, Santosh Lamichhane of Kaski, Ajit Tamang of Okhaldhunga and Prakash Bishwokarma of Chitwan, who are taking shelter at a Teaching Hospital in Tikrit, said on Sunday that they were preparing to flee to a safe place within Iraq, risking their lives.

Prakash Subedi, joint-secretary at the Foreign Ministry who is monitoring the situation, said another four Nepalis will return soon from Kirkuk via Turkey as their employers had arranged flight tickets to Kathmandu. Two of them, who did not have travel documents, got them from the Nepali Embassy in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Arjun Kanta Mainali, the special envoy of Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, is leaving on Tuesday for Kuwait, where he will be stationed for coordination with Iraqi officials, Nepali missions and humanitarian organisations.

“If the situation permits, I will travel to Baghdad, and aid the relocation of Nepalis to safer places like Kurdistan,” said Mainali.

Once the migrants are relocated to safety in Iraq, the government will then make efforts to provide them safe passage via Turkey to Kathmandu. Nepal has asked India, Pakistan, Turkey and organisations like Red Cross and International Office of Migration for their rescue.

Published: 30-06-2014 08:34

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