Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Loggers Defy U.N. Ban



Loggers Defy U.N. Ban

Loggers Defy U.N. Ban

(AP) - Logs are apparently still crossing the border from Cambodia into Thailand

despite a ban on the trade, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping operation said

Jan.4.

"I understand there is some illegal movement across the border," spokesman

Eric Falt told reporters.

The ban on exports of whole logs, which went into effect Jan. 1, was imposed by the

Supreme National Council to prevent depletion of the country's forests. If successful,

it would deprive the Khmer Rouge of a huge source of revenue.

During the first three days of the logging ban, U.N. monitors observed 5,783 cubic

meters of logs and 968 logs being transported across the border, Falt reported on

Jan. 8.

In Bangkok, Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Sakthip Krairiksh said he had not yet

received any official reports of the ban being violated but did notice a foreign

news agency report that described hundreds of logs still crossing into Thailand from

northern Cambodia.

"If there is any abuse, we will try to correct it," he said. The four Cambodian

factions that control areas of the country have the primary responsibility for enforcing

the ban, and U.N. officials at the borders are only watching to see if they are doing

so, Falt said.

Falt said U.N. officials were issuing written warnings to drivers of vehicles violating

the ban, but they "do not have the power to stand in front of a truck at the

border and make it stop."

U.N. peacekeepers are also hampered because they have not been allowed to set up

checkpoints in border areas controlled by the Khmer Rouge, which has refused to cooperate

with the U.N. peacekeeping operation.

The Khmer Rouge make huge profits from fees collected from Thai businessmen for rights

to log in Khmer Rouge-controlled areas in the west and north bordering Thailand.

Falt said Thai authorities were giving strong support in enforcing the ban. Thailand

has closed some trade passes along the 425-mile border with Cambodia, although it

is widely expected that logs will be smuggled across because of the huge profits

involved.

The U.N. Security Council also has called for an oil embargo against Khmer Rouge

areas to pressure the guerrillas to cooperate with the peace process.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and