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Singapore to Send Boat People Back to Vietnam

June 13, 1996

SINGAPORE (AP) _ The remaining 99 Vietnamese boat people in Singapore have been taken to prison for processing before being sent home to Vietnam next week, the government said Thursday.

Singapore said it will give humanitarian assistance of $760 to each Vietnamese who returns voluntarily.

Southeast Asian countries are scrambling to expel the last of the Indochinese who fled Communist takeovers in their countries two decades ago. Funding from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees ends June 30 and has been extended only for Hong Kong, the country with the largest number of boat people.

More than 1.6 million Vietnamese and thousands of Cambodians have settled in other countries, but thousands more were rejected as political refugees and remain in camps.

Singapore said 86 of the refugees were allowed into the country only after the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany gave written guarantees that they would be moved to a third country.

Births at the Hawkins Road refugee camp brought their numbers to 99.

As these ``countries have failed to honor their unconditional guarantees, it has become necessary for the UNHCR to arrange for their return to Vietnam,″ the government said.

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