Cambodia’s second trip to the South Pacific island nation of Nauru to find refugees Australia is holding there who are willing to resettle in Cambodia has been unsuccessful, Interior Ministry immigration department chief Sok Phal said Monday.
General Phal said a Cambodian delegation that arrived on Nauru about a week ago was on its way home Monday without finding a single volunteer to come to Cambodia. “’Til now, no…volunteer,” he said.
In September, Cambodia signed a controversial deal with Australia agreeing to take in an unspecified number of the refugees currently housed on Nauru in return for an additional $35 million in aid.
A Cambodian delegation that visited the island in January also returned empty-handed.
General Phal said he had no other details about the latest visit and did not know if or when Cambodia would try again.
It is not clear whether Australia will provide all or part of the promised aid if no refugees take up the offer to come to Cambodia.