Refugees arrive in Cambodia including A Rohingya from Australian detention

By June 4, 2015 09:52

Refugees arrive in Cambodia including A Rohingya from Australian detention

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The first four refugees involved in a controversial $31m resettlement deal have been transferred from an offshore Australian detention centre to their new lives in Cambodia.

The four migrants, who flew into the capital Phnom Penh on Thursday, had been held in detention on the remote Pacific island of Nauru after attempting to reach Australia.

Cambodian officials say the migrants include a Rohingya man from Myanmar, two Iranian men and one Iranian woman, all of whom were granted refugee status on Nauru and had agreed to be moved.

The four refugees were whisked from Phnom Penh International Airport in a minivan, dodging waiting photographers and reporters, after their plane arrived at around 10:30am (03:30 GMT).

Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Cambodian interior ministry, said ahead of the refugees’ arrival that they would be transferred to spacious accommodation in the south of Phnom Penh, consisting of three buildings within a single compound.

The compound is “even more awesome than my house”, Sopheak joked.

Australia signed the four-year resettlement deal with Cambodia in September to allow those granted refugee status in Nauru to permanently resettle in Cambodia, one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia. The two countries, however, have struggled to find anyone willing to be resettled.

The UN and rights groups have criticised the deal, saying Australia should not be offloading its refugees to other nations.


” I am very happy that the Cambodian government will offer hospitality to the Rohingya and the Iranians [who arrived on Thursday] and will hopefully offer it to all those who seek asylum here and not only in Australia,” she said.

Note:Changes have been made,ALJAZEERA is not responsible for these.




By June 4, 2015 09:52

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