Fifth Refugee From Australia’s Nauru Camps Enters Cambodia

Officials with the Interior Ministry and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Thursday that a fifth person from Australia’s refugee camps on Nauru had arrived in Cambodia, but declined to provide any details.

“The Rohingya already arrived four or five days ago, but I cannot remember the exact date of arrival or the man’s name,” said Kerm Sarin, head of administration for the Interior Ministry’s immigration department.

The IOM, which is helping the refugees adjust to life in Cambodia, also confirmed the latest arrival but declined to answer further questions.

The Interior Ministry spokesman and the immigration department director could not be reached.

An initial group of four people from the camps on Nauru arrived in Phnom Penh in June as part of a controversial deal Cambodia struck with Australia late last year to resettle an unspecified number of refugees from the South Pacific island nation in exchange for a AU$40 million ($29 million) aid package.

But there has been little interest in the deal among the hundreds of refugees on the island, who had been hoping to reach Australia, and one of the original four—also a Rohingya man—has since returned to Burma at his own request.

The first four were originally moved into a gated villa on the southeast side of Phnom Penh, though the three Iranians still in Cambodia have since relocated to other accommodation in the city. The IOM would not say whether the new refugee had been moved into the villa.

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