Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers flee both KR and RCAF

Villagers flee both KR and RCAF

Villagers flee both KR and RCAF

WAR has again caused hundreds of families to leave their houses in Siem Reap -

but his time they say they are fleeing the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces as well

as the Khmer Rouge.

Some 476 families have packed up their bags and left

the province's Angkor Chum district, saying they are fed up with being attacked

by the Khmer Rouge and extorted by RCAF soldiers sent to protect them.

A

total of 2,678 villagers made their way to a refugee camp in Pouk district, 13km

west of Siem Reap town.

Chief villager Nong Reum said their village had

recently been shelled, burned and looted in KR raids.

The RCAF troops

based there, meanwhile, had only caused more problems.

He said some

villagers were forced to pay 40,000 riels to the government troops.

"If

we don't have the money, they confiscate our rice."

He said an army chief

named Hel Sam Ol and his men had come to the village and singled out people they

wanted to get money from, claiming they were former KR or KR

sympathizers.

The government troops had also laid land mines near rice

paddies, killing cattle and injuring people, he said.

Villager Preung

Cheum said some people used to give rice to KR guerrillas several years ago to

avoid being killed.

"We did not know what to do beside that because our

village was invaded by KR and if we hadn't pleased them, we wouldn't have

survived till now," he said

The RCAF had since demanded money from him.

"I have not yet saved enough money, so they confiscated my property," said

Cheum.

Authorities are now trying to get the villagers to return to the

homes from the Pouk refugee camp.

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