Four more refugees say ‘yes’ to Cambodia

Arifa
By September 14, 2015 11:02

Four more refugees say ‘yes’ to Cambodia

A second group of refugees – including three Iranians and a Rohingya – have agreed to settle in Cambodia under a $A40 million resettlement arrangement with Australia, The Phnom Penh Post reported, citing Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak.

Sopheak said a Cambodian delegation would soon travel to the Pacific Island of Nauru to meet the group, whose ethnic make-up is identical to the first four arrivals who arrived in June.

His comments follow a two-day visit by Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to Phnom Penh this week, during which he held talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen and senior Cambodian immigration officials.

The discussions came after comments made by Sopheak that were interpreted by foreign media outlets as signalling the deal was in jeopardy and also followed the decision by one of the original arrivals, a Rohingya man, to apply to return home to Myanmar after only two months in Cambodia.

Sopheak said the new group’s decision to volunteer had been confirmed prior to meetings with Dutton.

Referring to the group – and the Rohingya man set to return to Myanmar – Sopheak said that the government “respects the will of the refugees” as to whether they wanted to reside in the Kingdom.

In exchange for $28 million in aid and an additional $10.8 million to cover resettlement costs, Cambodia agreed last September to host refugees held in the Australian-run detention camp on Nauru.

However, only four people initially took up the offer. Since then, the Australian government has faced mounting pressure over an arrangement already widely slammed by human rights groups and the UN.

Source: Thai BPS

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Arifa
By September 14, 2015 11:02

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