Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dozens more families flee

Dozens more families flee

Dozens more families flee

110630_5
Villagers in Oddar Meanchey province flee fighting along the Thai-Cambodian border in April.

Dozens more families living along the border in Oddar Meanchey province fled their homes yesterday as reports of frontline military reinforcements raised the spectre of a repeat of April’s deadly clashes near Ta Moan and Ta Krabey temples, local and military officials said.

Uon Ri, chief of Thmar Daun commune, located in Banteay Ampil district, said yesterday that 55 families had now left their homes to seek shelter at the Wat Ku pagoda, about 15 kilometres from the border, as well as the Boeung Trakoun border gate.

“We have not been ordered from the top to leave home. They themselves are in fear because they live near the frontline,” he said.

Phar Ny, a 31-year-old resident of Thmar Daun village, said yesterday that she feared for the safety of her three children and was gathering her clothes and belongings in preparation for the walk away from the border.

“I have to run to find a safe place before the shooting erupts because I have small children,” she said, adding that she was afraid that reported reinforcements of Thai troops signalled preparation for an attack.

Phar Ny said other villagers who had not yet decided to flee were remaining at home, keeping away from rice fields and plantations and  staying on alert.

Pich Sinath, Thamar Daun village chief, said Cambodians were panicking because they believed that an attack by Thailand was imminent. Just 20 out of 76 families in the village remained in their homes, he said.

Tens of thousands fled homes on both sides of the border near Ta Moan and Ta Krabey temples during heavy fighting in April and May that left at least 18 dead.

Tensions have risen in recent days after Thailand withdrew from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee during a meeting in Paris after it was unable to derail Cambodia’s proposed management plan for the Preah Vihear temple, a longtime source of conflict between the neighbouring kingdoms.

Military officials said the border situation remained steady.

Mai Mao, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces division 41, which is stationed at Ta Moan temple, said yesterday that the situation at the frontline was “normal”. “We are prepared to protect territorial integrity, but today the people are in turmoil and ran down from the mountain,” he said. “They panicked and ran in and out. It is their right to find safe shelter.”

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the border conflict would not derail national elections scheduled for July 3, while Thai military officials said there was “no plan” to attack Cambodia, the Bangkok Post reported yesterday.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all