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Tue 20 May 2014 01:28 PM

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Kuwait said to offer Bidoons Comoros citizenship

Gulf state said to be close to deal with one of the poorest African nations to accept its stateless residents, under similar terms struck by UAE

Kuwait said to offer Bidoons Comoros citizenship
Stateless Arabs, known as bidoon, protest to demand citizenship and other rights in Jahra, 50 km northwest of Kuwait City, on January 6, 2012. More than 4,000 stateless people in Kuwait demonstrated for the fourth week, insisting that the only solution to their plight is by getting Kuwaiti citizenship and other human rights. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwaiti Bidoons may soon be offered citizenship in the African nation of Comoros under a similar deal struck by the UAE, Kuwait Times has reported.

Gulf countries have been for years discussing how to deal with thousands of stateless residents in their borders, most of whom are Arabs and have lived in the same country most of their lives but do not have documentation.

Kuwait’s Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs Major General Sheikh Mazen Al Jarrah Al Sabah hinted recently that the government was close to signing a deal with an Arab country to provide citizenship to its Bidoons.

It is believed the country is Comoros, which already has an arrangement with the UAE.

The oil rich state would give Comoros – one of the world’s poorest nations –economic benefits in return for the citizenships.

Kuwait Times reported that the agreement did not involve deporting Bidoons to the African country, and they would be allowed to live legally in Kuwait. However, Comoros would be obliged to accept all Bedouins as their nationals, including accepting them if they were deported from Kuwait, for example if they committed a crime.

The newspaper said if the agreement was confirmed, 1900 people who have been registered as Bidoons since before 1985 would be the first to be offered Comoros citizenship.

Omar 5 years ago

I honestly find this initiative abhorrent. The "Bidoons" are not from the Comoros. They are from the region they currently inhabit, but without official papers. The only acceptable resolution to the issue is to provide them with FULL citizenship.

Fobbing them off to another country just says "we do not want you ...you are not one of us...and we will not accept you as citizens in the lands you have lived in for generations". They are being treated like the Gypsies in Europe, the Palestinians in the occupied territories, and indigenous Indians in North America, just because they straddle the borders of relatively newly formed "states".

Shame on all who support such actions.

Nasser M. Al Nasser 5 years ago

Easier said than done! I think Omar that none of the bidoons are stateless as they claim to be! first of all the main reason for them protesting is to get the Kuwaiti Citzenship for the many benefits and freebees it offers! Second of all if you were to look at the current statistics of crimes being committed in Kuwait you would definitely find that almost on a daily basis a bidoon is involved in crimes from stealing cars, to murder, to drug trafficking. I am not saying that all bidoons are bad... but there is no way that someone would suddenly appear from nowhere claiming to be stateless!!
My brotherly advice to you would be to fully under the current situation in kuwait and then decide for yourself if your words make sense! On another note.. records do exist to establish where these people came from ... who again deny this fact!

Observer 5 years ago

Dear Nasser from Kuwait.
Biddons are being involved in crimes because they don't have the means to live a decent life. They don't have decent lifes because the Kwaiti government is refusing to integrate them, it is not supporting them as it should be.
Just give them what other Kwaitis get and then we'll see how much their involvement is crime becomes....