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Refugee reportedly seeking repatriation

One of the four refugees resettled in Cambodia as part of a multimillion-dollar deal signed with Australia wants to return to the country he escaped from, according to a report.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak told radio service RFA Khmer on Saturday that the refugee – a Rohingya man from Myanmar – wanted to give up his refugee status and return to Myanmar because he was homesick.

Sopheak could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In exchange for almost $40 million in aid, Cambodia agreed in September of 2014 to accept an unspecified number of refugees from an Australian-run detention camp on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru.

The Rohingya man was one of only four out of 677 refugees who accepted to go to Cambodia, arriving in Phnom Penh along with two Iranian men and one Iranian woman this June. Discrimination against the Muslim Rohingyas in Buddhist-majority Myanmar has caused many to flee the country.

Joe Lowry, spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration, which is overseeing the refugees’ resettlement, declined to comment.



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