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Cambodia: increasing interest in repatriation

Briefing notes

Cambodia: increasing interest in repatriation

5 January 1999

The Cambodian refugees remaining in Thailand are showing increasing interest in repatriation, following the surrender of the remaining Khmer Rouge factions at the end of last year.

Since the last days of December, around 1,700 refugees have returned from UNHCR-supported camps in Thailand's Surin province, with another 357 scheduled to go back today. UNHCR is supporting the voluntary and safe return of the whole refugee population, but is concerned that certain groups of the refugees are still under strong pressure from some Khmer Rouge leaders who want to control the return movement to specific areas only. In addition, large areas to which refugees want to return need de-mining before return can be safe.

There are still just over 35,000 Cambodian refugees remaining in camps in Thailand's Surin, Sisaket and Trat provinces.