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Cablegate: Unhcr to Visit Gia Lai Again, Investigate Possible

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HANOI 002055

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND PRM, BANGKOK FOR REFUGEE
COORDINATOR, GENEVA FOR RMA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PREF VM CB HUMANR ETMIN
SUBJECT: UNHCR TO VISIT GIA LAI AGAIN, INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE
MICRO-PROJECTS

Reftel: State 148146

1. (SBU) Summary: UNHCR will send a team of three
representatives to Gia Lai Province August 22-26 to look
into the status of ethnic minority returnees. The UNHCR
team will also investigate possible Tripartite MOU-mandated
micro-projects, for which UNHCR recently received USD
130,000 from the USG. End Summary.

2. (SBU) UNHCR Chief of Mission Vu Anh Son told Pol/C August
11 that he, UNHCR Regional Representative Hasim Utkan and
Assistant Regional Representative for Operations Bernard
Quah will pay a monitoring visit to Gia Lai Province August
22-26. The UNHCR team hopes to visit Duc Co District, in
which 56 of the 94 recent returnees reside. Krong Pa
District, the birthplace of Montagnard Foundation head Kok
Ksor, is another possible destination. The team will also
investigate possible micro-projects, which UNHCR committed
itself to seek funding for under the Vietnam-Cambodia-UNHCR
Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding. Son related that he
had just learned from Geneva that the USG had approved USD
130,000 for UNHCR projects in the Central Highlands; using
the funds to build a school (or a number of schools) is one
possible option, he said.

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3. (SBU) Son said that the attitude of his MFA and Ministry
of Public Security counterparts has so far been positive,
and that he merely needs to "inform" rather than "seek
permission" to travel to the Central Highlands. Concerned
that UNHCR's frequent visits may be a burden to local
authorities, Son said that UNHCR is prepared to provide
"around" USD 10,000 to help pay for transportation and other
costs. Son also indicated that UNHCR's next trip may be in
October.

4. (SBU) Son reported that the number of "refuseniks" in
Phnom Penh (those ethnic minority Vietnamese who are
eligible for but do not accept resettlement) has dropped to
19 persons, from a high of close to 350 persons. However,
the GVN still complains that the speed of moving out those
who have accepted resettlement is "too slow," Son said.

5. (SBU) Comment: Per reftel, we will meet in coming days
with our colleagues from like-minded embassies to inform
them of our plans to visit the Central Highlands in early
September and encourage them to do the same. COM Son was
pleased when informed that the Embassy and ConGen HCMC
planned to send a team to Gia Lai September 6-9 and
indicated he would do his best to encourage other donor
nation representatives to follow suit. End Comment.

MARINE

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