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Cambodia: Now that the war is over: Restoring family links

15-05-1997 News Release 97/18

Since the end of the fighting in Cambodia's north-western district and former Khmer Rouge-controlled zone around the town of Pailin, the ICRC has been able to resume its task of restoring contact between family members separated by the war. Taking small steps -- before the seasonal rains set in -- a local field officer sent to the area has managed to locate 12 people from a list of 15 sought by their next of kin. In two cases, this was the very first time the families had received any news of their relatives in over 20 years. 

According to the field officer, Phnom Malai, " the parents burst into tears when they heard that their sons were still alive " .    

In the first quarter of 1997, tracing activities were carried out in all the Cambodian provinces. The overall volume of Red Cross messages collected (1,044) and distributed (701) during this period remained considerable as a result of the numerous visits conducted by ICRC delegates to the country's places of detention.