Less than 600 West African migrants remain in Antigua

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

LOOP: Antigua and Barbuda’s chief immigration officer confirmed today that at least 450 West Africans, who were brought to the country last year on charted flights, remain on the twin island national

Chief Immigration Officer Katrina Yearwood provided the updated figure to journalists today at a media conference.

The government had previously said 637 of the more than 900 people who touched down between November and January remained in Antigua.

Many of them are Cameroonians fleeing conflict.

Yearwood said she could not confirm whether the migrants that left when the figure was revealed did so through “normal channels” but she noted that approximately 200 of the total group that came as tourists left legally.

The migrants from the charted flights have been popping up across the Caribbean in countries such as Suriname, Dominica and Barbados.

Yearwood said a team from the Immigration Department is monitoring the movement of the West Africans that remain in Antigua and Barbuda and they have an idea of the communities that they are staying in. But she noted the “situation remains fluid”.

Yearwood revealed that the Immigration Department will meet with representatives from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) tomorrow.

The IOM and UNHCR were invited by the government to meet with the West Africans to determine their needs and also inquire how many people would like to return home on a special charter flight.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas noted the government had offered to transport the migrants home. However, Yearwood said no one has taken up the offer.

The information minister said the government remains committed to helping the West Africans while they are in Antigua and Barbuda.

Advertise with the mоѕt vіѕіtеd nеwѕ ѕіtе іn Antigua! We offer fully customizable and flexible digital marketing packages.Contact us at [email protected]