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Repatriation to Cambodia

Briefing notes

Repatriation to Cambodia

19 January 1999

The Cambodian refugees in Thailand continue to show interest in returning home. Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,000 refugees from the Phu Noi camp in Sisaket province have returned to Cambodia, a first group on 12 January (395 persons) and a second on 15 January (610 persons). A third group of 411 persons is scheduled to leave Phu Noi camp tomorrow (20 January).

These refugees have not returned to the former Khmer Rouge stronghold at Anlong Veng, but have instead opted to travel to a UNHCR transit centre in Sisophon and to go from there to Mondulkiri and Kompot in eastern Cambodia.

A UNHCR team visited Mondulkiri last week and following their assessment, the first 395 repatriants left the transit centre in Sisophon on Saturday 16 January for the journey to Mondulkiri, where they should arrive tomorrow.

The danger to returnees posed by land-mines in Cambodia, and especially in western Cambodia, continues to preoccupy UNHCR. Reports of landmine injuries to returnees in the Samlot area have been received. Land-mine awareness teams from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre are due to conduct awareness programmes for refugees staying in Trat province in Thailand, starting today.