Cambodian and Thai officials are having trouble resolving tensions over border checkpoints in Oddar Meanchey, Cambodian authorities said yesterday.
Following a verbal request from Thai border police that their Cambodian counterparts rejected last week, Thai officers submitted a letter last Friday asking Cambodian authorities to move the stalls of about 50 Cambodian vendors away from the entrance to the Choam-Sangam border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district, said Touch Ra, the checkpoint’s director.
“The letter tells us to move away the stalls because [the area] is not demarcated yet,” Ra said. “It may belong to Cambodia or Thailand.
“They also forbade us from building anything in the area.”
Ra said his team would not comply with the letter’s request, adding that the vendors were 30 to 40 metres away from the checkpoint and were just selling a few snacks and beverages.
Cambodian and Thai authorities are currently working to re-demarcate the border area along the lines that existed during Cambodia’s French colonial period, but they currently have 52 more checkpoints to go before they reach Choam-Sangam, Ra said.
Hing Thoeng, commune police chief of Trapaing Brei commune police chief in Anlong Veng district, said the vendors had never caused problems with order or security in the area, which was the site of Thai-Cambodian hostilities in 2011 and shootings of Cambodian illegal loggers by Thai soldiers in 2012.
Meanwhile, Cambodian authorities have been negotiating with Thailand with little success to re-open Oddar Meanchey’s Thmor Doun checkpoint, closed in 2008 due to Thai authorities’ claims that it allowed Cambodian thieves to enter Thailand, said Thmor Doun village chief Khuon Sreysros.
To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]