World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Concern Mounts: Montagnards Crossing Into Cambodia

UN Refugee Agency Voices Concern For Montagnards Crossing Into Cambodia

The United Nations refugee agency today said it is concerned that a growing number of Montagnards from Viet Nam have crossed into Cambodia under the mistaken impression that it could help them get their confiscated lands back.

A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that during interviews with many of the 441 Montagnard asylum seekers it became apparent that many of them had crossed the border following rumours and alleged radio reports that the “UN” could help them recover confiscated lands, and not all were fleeing persecution.

“Once it was made clear UNHCR could not assist them with their land grievances, some asylum seekers said they wanted to return to Viet Nam,” Ron Redmond said in Geneva. “Others who had already been recognized as refugees also overwhelmingly rejected resettlement.”

UNHCR had turned up the Montagnards after conducting missions with Cambodian authorities to the border states of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri in response to reports that groups of asylum seekers were hiding in the jungle, Mr. Redmond said.

“This situation has placed UNHCR in a quandary as our mandate is to provide international protection for refugees, not to resolve land disputes,” he said, noting that the Cambodian Government wants a speedy resettlement.

“We are involved in a constructive dialogue with the Vietnamese authorities to find an acceptable humanitarian solution for the repatriation of those asylum seekers who wish to return home,” he added.

“But we nevertheless remain concerned that Montagnards, under the illusion that we can help with their land problems, may have put themselves at unnecessary risk and exposed themselves to increased vulnerability by crossing into Cambodia.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news