Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Troops accused of killings



Troops accused of killings

Troops accused of killings

S ON DAN commune, Kratie-Several villagers in this commune claim that they have been mistreated and their sons and husbands killed by government soldiers after being accused of being Khmer Rouge accomplices.

During interviews with the Post on Oct 7, villagers in Son Dan commune in Kratie's Sam Bor district said the accusation was made because they gave food to KR guerrillas operating about 12 km northeast of the commune.

Villagers in the commune, which is 15 km north of Kratie town, admitted that they provided supplies like rice, chicken, beef, eggs and pork to the KR guerrillas, but denied being accomplices.

"We are not KR accomplices. We were afraid of being killed, so we decided to provide food to them. This is only to avoid death," said 47-year-old villager Man Sok.

Man Sok said that he and his family have never been KR spies, nor have they provided information to KR guerrillas about attacking government army positions.

"But my family was alleged to be KR spies, and one of my sons was shot by government soldiers in late July," he said.

Sok said he and his wife cried and tried to tell the soldiers that they were not KR accomplices and had only given the guerrillas food.

"But they [government soldiers] did not believe me, they still killed my son. The soldiers committed barbarous acts like Vietnamese soldiers, they are Khmers, but they don't act like Khmers," said a weeping Vong Sary, wife of Man Sok.

Chan Sopheap, who claimed her husband was killed by government soldiers in August, said that KR guerrillas came from their base at night time and asked for food.

"They go back to their base after they have received food, they have never mistreated me or the other villagers. Because I say this, it does not mean that I like the KR or that I support them. I am not happy when they ask me for something. But I have to give food to them for my family's safety," said Sopheap.

But, she says, her husband was killed after being accused of being a KR sympathizer.

"On Aug 13, a band of 25 KR guerrillas arrived at the commune at around 7 pm and clashed with government soldiers, "she said

She said after the 90 minutes of fighting, the KR guerrillas were pushed back by some 40 government soldiers to their base. But soon a group of seven soldiers came to her house and asked her husband to come out of the house. "When he came down, the soldiers said my husband was a KR accomplice and shot him to death in front of the house," she said.

Gen Sok Sa Em, commander at Kratie military headquarters, told the Post that most of the people in Sam Bor district were KR accomplices and always reported to the guerrillas on when and how to attack his soldiers.

"The villagers did not only provide supplies to the KR, but also tell them to attack us," Gen Em said. The general added that though the villagers were not faithful to his soldiers, he has never ordered his soldiers to kill villagers. "I would like to promise that I will investigate the claim and bring justice to the villagers," Gen Em said.

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