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(ABC Asia Pacific) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has refused refugee status to 121 Vietnamese Montagnards, who fled to Cambodia.
The UNHCR says it does not consider them refugees as they do not meet the criteria.
However the agency is still providing shelter for the group and has agreed to resettle or repatriate them.
Of the 121 people, 96 are being sent to the United States for resettlement.
The largely Christian hilltribe first arrived en masse in Cambodia from Vietnam’s Central Highlands in 2001, because of land confiscation and religious persecution.
In January, Vietnam, Cambodia and the UNHCR agreed to resettle the Montagnard asylum seekers to a third country or repatriate the ethnic minority arrivals back to Vietnam if they wished.