UN thwarted in R’kiri

UN thwarted in R’kiri

A joint team of UN and Ministry of Interior officials was barred by local authorities yesterday in Ratanakkiri as they attempted to visit Montagnard Christians who have spent several weeks hiding in the jungle after fleeing Vietnam in search of refugee status.

“Despite a clear instruction by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sar Kheng to cooperate with the joint team, the local authorities in Ratanakkiri have refused to allow the team to meet with the group or to transport them to the capital,” a statement released by the UN yesterday reads. “This morning, provincial authorities have prevented UN access to the ethnic Jarai villages in the area.”

The group of UNHCR and OHCHR officers appealed to the provincial governor for access after being blocked by RCAF officers in Bakeo district about 8am, said Chhay Thy, a coordinator for rights group Adhoc.

“The team had been obstructed for an hour in the morning,” Thy told the Post yesterday. “UN officials had contacted the provincial governor to ask for free passage for them to continue their mission, but they were not permitted.”

UN officials have been informed that local police are searching for the group of Montagnards to possibly return them to Vietnam.

Additional reporting by Sean Teehan

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding

  • Japan urges parties to talk

    The Japanese delegation to the United Nations (UN) expressed concern for the current political situation in Cambodia and urged all stakeholders to promote dialogue. The delegation’s remarks were read out at the UN’s 38th session on Human Rights on Thursday. Mitsuko Shino, speaking