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Montagnard asylum seekers talk to UNHCR representatives in Ratanakkiri last year. Adhoc
Montagnard asylum seekers talk to UNHCR representatives in Ratanakkiri last year. Adhoc

Montagnard refugees set their course for Philippines

More than a dozen Montagnard refugees are set to depart from Cambodia for the Philippines today, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNHCR regional press officer Vivian Tan said 13 Montagnards, a predominantly Christian indigenous group, who fled Vietnam into Cambodia through the forests of Ratanakkiri in late 2014, would “receive accommodation and livelihoods support” upon their arrival in the Philippines.

“This is in line with the agreement reached between the relevant parties,” Tan said. Another 171 Montagnard asylum seekers will remain in UN-supported accommodation in Phnom Penh for now,

“The remaining Montagnard asylum seekers in Cambodia are going through registration and refugee status determination by the government’s Refugee Department,” Tan said.

A number of officials at Cambodia’s immigration and refugee departments either could not be reached or claimed to know nothing about the case.

One of the Montagnards committed suicide in April this year. Last September, after the government threatened to deport them, 24 returned to Vietnam.

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