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Cambodia: agreement signed on Vietnamese Montagnard repatriation

Briefing notes

Cambodia: agreement signed on Vietnamese Montagnard repatriation

22 January 2002

UNHCR on Monday signed an agreement with Viet Nam and Cambodia on the repatriation of some 1,000 Montagnards who fled to Cambodia from Viet Nam's Central Highlands almost one year ago. The tripartite agreement signed in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, after a daylong round of talks, gives UNHCR access to the area to which the Montagnards will be returning. Under the agreement, UNHCR officials will be able to visit the Central Highlands prior to the actual repatriation and to monitor the return once it takes place. During the Phnom Penh meeting, the Vietnamese government assured both Cambodian officials and UNHCR representatives that all those returning will be well received and will not be subjected to any punitive or discriminatory treatment. UNHCR is pleased with the agreement, which will finally enable the Montagnards to go home in a safe and dignified manner. A UNHCR team is expected to make the first visit to the Central Highlands within a month.