Gov’t Says Only One Refugee From Nauru Coming

Immigration department director Sok Phal said Tuesday that Cambodia will be taking in only one of the two refugees who volunteered to resettle here during a delegation’s visit to Australia’s refugee center on the South Pacific island of Nauru in late September, but did not explain why.

“There is one refugee and he will come this week or next week.First there were two volunteers, but now there is only one,” he said.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng announced the pending arrival of two more refugees from Nauru on October 1, on top of the first four that arrived in June as part of a controversial resettlement deal Cambodia signed with Australia last year.

The Cambodian delegation that visited Nauru in September was supposed to meet with a new group of four refugees that Australia claimed had volunteered, but Cambodia at the time said those four had changed their minds.

As for the group that arrived in June, General Phal said Tuesday that they were still looking for work.

“We have received information that they have not gotten jobs yet, so they are still getting donations to support themselves from Australia,” he said.

Neither Australia nor the International Organization for Migration, which is assisting with the resettlements, will discuss details about the refugees.

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