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Ministry of Interior sets up checkpoint working group

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Dom Kralor international border checkpoint in Stung Treng province. Hong Menea

Ministry of Interior sets up checkpoint working group

The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday established a working group to study the opening of new border checkpoints along the Kingdom’s frontier with neighbouring countries.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng signed a letter appointing Sok Phal and Lam Chea as head and deputy of the committee, respectively. Phal and Chea are secretaries of state at the ministry.

The remaining eight members could not be verified.

The group is expected to study the opening of new border checkpoints as agreed with countries that sharing a land border with Cambodia and to discuss procedures with the relevant ministries, according to the letter.

“The working group’s obligations are as follows – to identify problems around the proposed border checkpoints in order to find the proper solutions; facilitate the discussions and negotiations with countries sharing a border with Cambodia in order to urge for the opening of [new] checkpoints,” the letter read.

The group must submit reports, ask their superiors for recommendations and fulfil other tasks as required, it said, adding that the 10 members of the newly-formed group have the right to seek assistance from their subordinates if necessary.

Phal told The Post on Tuesday that the team aims to begin their work later this month.

“The committee will meet on the third or fourth week of this month to prepare and delegate tasks,” he said.

This working group, Phal said, is not obliged to deal with the shutting down of existing checkpoints despite them being established after Sar Kheng had ordered the authorities to put them up to mitigate trafficking cases, including those involving illegal migrant workers.

On January 2, Ministry of National Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat told The Post that last year, the military had uncovered 5,193 crimes along the Kingdom’s frontier.

The border security situation was better last year in comparison to that of 2017, he said.

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