The Cameroonians and Antiguans who survived the tragedy at sea last week Tuesday are expected to return to the island on Saturday, possibly on a British Airways chartered flight.
Sources in St Kitts and Nevis said the Cameroonians are being housed at St Peter’s under heavy security however they are being fed, clothed, and taken care of.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas said the Cameroonians will be allowed safe hospice in Antigua.
“We would like for us to be able to receive those persons. And the government has already given an indication it will have no difficulties doing so. We were always on the path towards giving them legal means of becoming full residents of Antigua and Barbuda,” Nicholas said.
He said the government is also willing to engage the Cameroonians to make contact with their loved ones in West Africa
“The government remains open to facilitate any communication and to provide whatever methods of comfort to the bereaved families. And this type of engagement will be done through our Immigration Department and through our foreign Service,” Nicholas said.
Meanwhile, there have been suggestions that the Cameroons feared dead may have been picked up by another vessel since their bodies were never found
Nicholas responded to these comments this way: “ I believe the investigations in Saint Kitts are still ongoing. It is unclear whether or not the persons who were rescued are in a position to help law enforcement to understand what may have happened at that fateful moment and whether or not, there is any further evidence that they can pursue to be able to determine where these other persons are”
He said “But given the nature of incidents at sea, it would be fair to say that if they in fact perished by this stage, the bodies would have elevated on the surface of the sea. And if they are still bobbing on the ocean, I’m sure that, of course, there will be sea creatures that will be going at them or if anything, that they will wash up on shores elsewhere. One would not be able to make a determination because one does not know where the current would be taking these persons”.
Nicholas said to even speculate that perhaps another passing vessel may have rescued them and they may have gone on with their journey, then “one doesn’t know, but it would be wonderful if that were the case if these people were saved”.
Meanwhile, the two Antiguans and Barbudans who were part of that tragic journey have not been charged and will be returning home on Saturday.
Nicholas said they could be charged in Antigua and Barbuda
“Certainly if they were returned to Antigua, I imagine that there will be charges that they will have to answer to but it’s early days yet, and I do not want to get ahead of myself or ahead of the law enforcement officials working in the two different jurisdictions.
Why are the Africans returning to Antigua? They are not citizens. Shouldn’t it be the Job of the St. kitts government to repatriate them back to Cameroon or Nigeria?
They don’t wish to be in Antigua so give them a few days rations and a boat and let them leave.
I have been asking the same question over, and over. Unless these people gave Antiguan passports, and we don’t know. In the press conference last Thursday, Melford was quick to declare; that the government was not responsible for the tragedy. But, in th the same sentence, he also announced, that the government of Antigua 🇦🇬 is “obligated ” to take them back, if St Kitts should send them back to Antigua. The government is still not being open and honest with us.
Children of Antiguan parents who were born outside of Antigua and don’t have an Antiguan passport are treated hashly by imigration upon returning to Antigua even if they live here .
Most have to travel on 2way tickets because they are not legal Antiguans. Some were even threatened to be sent back to overseas destinations.
So how come these Africans get more previlage than our children????
Because of the guilt that rest on their conscience they would do anything to appease to the Africans