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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 11:16 GMT
Hmong group surrenders in Laos
Chong-Cha Lee, a Hmong rebel in Laos
Some Hmong continue to fight against the government
About 400 members of a Hmong hill tribe are reported to have surrendered to the authorities in Laos.

The group came out of the jungle in the province of Xieng Khouang, according to the US-based Fact Finding Commission, which supports Hmong communities.

Groups of Hmong still remain in the Lao jungle, where they fled to in 1975 when the pro-US government they supported was defeated by the communists.

They are still said to face occasional attacks from Lao government forces.

HMONG IN LAOS
Ethnic group that often complains of marginalisation in Lao society
Took the side of the US in the Vietnam War - and say they are persecuted because of it
Many still live in jungles
Small numbers say they are fighting rebel insurgency
Thousands have fled to Thailand in recent years
US took in 14,000 Hmong recently, but has no plans for taking more

Leader Moua Tua Ter accompanied the surrendering group to Ban Ha, before he went back to the jungle with a few of his men, according to the Fact Finding Commission.

The group appeared to be "very hungry and tired", the commission said.

They are reported to have been given food by local villages before Lao soldiers registered them in preparation for resettlement.

Hardship

After the 1975 communist takeover, many thousands of Hmong left the country, while others learned to accept the new regime.

Those that fled to the jungle are thought to face increasing isolation as well as continued military pressure, and several Hmong groups have recently chosen to turn themselves in.

In mid November, a group of nearly 200 gave themselves up in the province of Bolikhamxay, near the Vietnam border.




SEE ALSO
Lost Hmong children found in Laos
27 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Concerns mount for missing Hmong
26 Jan 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Hmong refugees pleading to stay
28 Jul 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Forgotten Hmong find new home
14 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Hmong ordered from Thai camp
25 Aug 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Hmong refugees reach US
22 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Laos' forgotten Hmong
02 Jul 03 |  Asia-Pacific

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