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Tensions over ponds on border

Tensions over ponds on border

Veitnamese authorities have failed to deliver on a promise to fill in three of eight ponds dug in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district and the planting of crops has continued in the area, according to Cambodian villagers living in border zone.

Residents of Lom village yesterday said Vietnamese had continued to sow soybeans in the area, even after recently being turned away by Cambodian security services.

“They planted in the daytime, but our authorities spoke to them and they stopped. At night, they started planting again,” said villager Rocham Kham.

Controversy erupted in May and June around the eight ponds, which allegedly lay hundreds of metres inside Cambodian territory.

While the government initially palmed off criticism, in June, Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong sent a series of diplomatic notes to the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh, and Vietnamese authorities an-nounced they would review the
situation.

A month later, after three days of bilateral talks, the Foreign Ministry said that Vietnam had agreed to fill in three of the ponds and to cease construction on a military outpost allegedly inside Kandal province.

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