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31 Montagnards Arrives in Phnom Penh Monday - 2004-07-26

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) transported 31 Vietnamese Montagnards to Phnom Penh from Ratanakiri province by plane.

The 31 Vietnamese montagnards, which include 8 children, had been hiding in Cambodia over a week without food.

This is the first group of refugees the UNHCR brought to Phnom Penh since the Cambodian government gave permission.

After a meeting with the UNHCR representatives Monday afternoon, a spokesman from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Cambodian government gives the UNHCR 30 days or more to send the Montagnards to a third country.

The spokesman said after that the Cambodian government will send them back to Vietnam.

The Khmer service stringer could not reach the UNHCR officials for comments about the meeting. There are 150 more who are under the care of the UNHCR in Ratanakiri province