29 Dec 2017

New life in Sweden for refugees stuck in FSM

8:53 am on 29 December 2017

Four Nepalese refugees who were stuck on Micronesian islands for nearly three years have found a new life in Sweden.

The men left the Federated States of Micronesia in September after being detained at wharves on Yap and Pohnpei as authorities determined their status and tried to find them a home.

The men were among a boatload of Indian and Nepalese men who arrived near starving on Yap in November 2014 and were the only ones given refugee status in 2016.

The group of four spent another year on a ramshackle boat at the wharf in neighbouring Pohnpei in conditions which raised the concern of locals.

Pohnpei resident Mark Dvorak had followed their plight and says 2018 will be no doubt be happier for them.

"Whatever it was, got it triggered and they got status and the ability to transfer to Sweden. They were excited, they were well-dressed. Yes they looked excited and happy and somewhat relieved for sure," he said.

Mr Dvorak said the men are learning Swedish and receiving training in their new home.

Nepalese refugees in Micronesia

Photo: Supplied/ Denise Oen

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