The O’Smach international border gate in Oddar Meanchey province was closed for a few hours yesterday after Thai villagers demonstrated in an attempt to block Cambodian vehicles from transporting goods across the border, officials said. Chhim Sivuth, chief inspector for the province, said the border was reopened at about 10am after being closed around three hours earlier, but that protesters on the Thai side were still preventing Cambodian vehicles from carrying passengers and cargo over the border. “Thai people are demonstrating to prevent Cambodians’ motorbikes and carts from crossing into Thailand,” he said yesterday. “They wanted visitors to ride on Thai motorbikes and transport goods using Thai vehicles,” he said. Meat and vegetable vendor Chan Tha called for an end to the blockade, saying that businesses on both sides rely on cross-border trade. “I am worried that the price of goods will be higher if the protests continue longer,” he said. Chhim Sivuth said his officials were negotiating with their Thai counterparts to restore access for Cambodian vendors, but had not yet reached a solution.
Frontier Strife: Thai protest blocks off border gate