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|| Persecution.org - International Christian Concern
Last week, interior and foreign ministry officials also finished verifying the resettlement desires of the Montagnards, "a clear majority" of who have confirmed their wish to remain in Cambodia, UNHCR field and protection officer, Cathy Shin said in a statement Thursday."There was no indication on whether the Montagnards who wished to remain in Cambodia would be allowed to stay," Shin said. Owing to their refusal to resettle, Romah Y Lut, 47, said
The Montagnards, who practise a form of Protestantism, kneel around the UNHCR's offering of rice and tinned sardines and pray.They haven't eaten for five days.Shin said that while Cambodia is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, the country does not yet have a workable system in place to process asylum-seekers."The UN has taken on that role with the goal that the Cambodian government will eventually be able to take over and set up a system,"
"They really miss their families.They all have wives at homes ... and little kids," said Shin, who was traveling with the group."When I ask, they say, oh they're happy (to go back) ... they're also nervous, I think."
The UNHCR collected 282 asylum-seekers in several visits to Ratanakkiri since July.The trip to Mondolkiri will be the UNHCR's first visit to the province since Vietnam's crackdown on Montagnard demonstrations for land rights and religious freedom in the Central Highlands last April provoked hundreds to seek asylum in Cambodia.
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