Australia’s transfers fifth refugee to Cambodia from Nauru

Phnom Penh, Nov 26 (IANS) Australian authorities have secretly transferred a refugee to Cambodia last week from the Pacific island of Nauru, becoming the fifth person to move to the country under a controversial deal signed with Australia last year, a media report said on Thursday.

Joe Lowry, the International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM) Asia-Pacific spokesperson, said a male refugee arrived in Cambodia last week for whom the IOM “is providing resettlement services”, Xinhua news agency reported.

As part of the controversial deal signed in September 2014, some refugees from Nauru were to be resettled in Cambodia in exchange for Australian aid, but only four have arrived since then.

Cambodia is to receive 40 million Australian dollars (about $28 million) in aid regardless of how many asylum seekers it takes in.

Services offered to refugees who volunteer for resettlement under the deal have included Khmer language lessons, health and employment services, and cultural and social orientation.

In June, the first refugees to arrive under the deal — a reportedly ethnic Rohingyan man from Myanmar, two Iranian men and an Iranian woman — were temporarily put up in a villa on the outskirts of capital Phnom Penh.

he refugee from Myanmar returned home last month, while the three Iranians have since moved into accommodation elsewhere in the city.

Kerm Sarin, spokesman of the interior ministry’s refugee department, said the fifth refugee was an ethnic Rohingya man.

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