Montagnards Request To Leave Cambodia

The U.N.’s refugee agency said on Monday that more than 10 Montagnards have recently requested assistance in returning to Vietnam after abandoning their efforts to register as refugees in Phnom Penh.

“More than 10 Montagnards have so far approached our office in Cambodia requesting help to facilitate their return to Viet Nam. There is no date planned yet and the numbers could change, as they did with past groups,” said Vivian Tan, regional spokeswoman for the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) via email.

“The ones who asked to return said they had come with the mistaken impression that they could get help with land issues back home,” she added.

In September, the Cambodian government announced that more than 200 Montagnards—a group of ethnic minorities from Vietnam’s Central Highlands—had three months to return to Vietnam or be forcibly returned.

Since then, the deadline for the group to return to Vietnam has been pushed back to February 6. Last month, 17 Montagnards returned to Vietnam with the assistance of the U.N., while 24 returned in October.

wright@cambodiadaily.com

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