8 June 2005

Secretary-General Offers UN Assistance to Lao Government for Recently Returned Group of Hmong

NEW YORK, 7 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the reports received of the humane treatment extended to the group of 171 men, women and children from ethnic minorities, including Hmong, who have come out from remote areas of the Xaysomboune Special Zone in Lao People’s Democratic Republic early on Saturday morning.  He urges the Lao Government to continue to provide the necessary assistance to the Hmong should a larger number come out of the jungle in the days ahead.  The Secretary-General also reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to provide every kind of humanitarian assistance to such groups that the Lao Government may request.

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