02/13/2008, 00.00
LAOS
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The Hmong ask the UN to stop their extermination

Aligned against the communists during the civil war, and allied with the Americans during the Vietnam war, they are decrying their poverty and attacks on the part of the country's army.

New York (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Hmong, an ethnic group historically present in Indochina, are asking the UN to intervene to stop the extermination they say they are undergoing in Laos, where over a few years their numbers have been reduced from 18,000 to 7,000.

In a letter, the Hmong assert that the cause of these losses are attacks by the Laotian army, poverty, and poor living conditions.

In the 1960's, the Hmong aligned themselves against the communists during the civil war, and are one of the ethnic groups that stood beside the United States in the Vietnam war. In 1975, with the rise to power of the Patet Lao, many emigrated to the West.

A few thousand have returned thanks to repatriation programs supported by the United Nations. But in Laos, they are still considered to be linked to China, and are attacked. For this reason, many flee to Thailand, which aims to send them back. It is a situation that has already prompted statements of concern from the United Nations.

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