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UNHCR to meet with Viet Nam and Cambodia on 'Montagnards'

Briefing notes

UNHCR to meet with Viet Nam and Cambodia on 'Montagnards'

8 March 2002

Cambodian and Vietnamese officials, as well as UNHCR's representative for the region, will meet in Viet Nam's Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday (March 12) in a bid to put back on track an agreement on the return from Cambodia to Viet Nam's Central Highlands of some 1,000 "Montagnards" who had fled to Cambodia a year ago.

Under the agreement, reached last January, UNHCR was given unlimited access to the area prior to, during and after the repatriation. Earlier this month, UNHCR officials accompanied 15 Montagnards back to their home villages. But UNHCR says a subsequent refusal by Viet Nam to allow UNHCR to visit some of the return areas, as well as an attempt to impose a deadline on Montagnard returns, eroded the agreement and prompted the UN refugee agency to seek clarification from Cambodia and Viet Nam.