Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villages to be built at the border after PM orders better defences

Villages to be built at the border after PM orders better defences

Villages to be built at the border after PM orders better defences

Government hopes to populate isolated areas next to Thailand following a series of border incursions by Thai troops at two key temples

NEW villages are being established along the border with Thailand in Oddar Meanchey province as Cambodia builds up its defences against future incursions by Thailand, officials say.

The order to more heavily populate the frontier came last week from Prime Minister Hun Sen, who also has decreed that soldiers would be given land in the region to encourage them to settle there permanently.

Provincial Deputy Governor San Vanna said that the policy to promote settlement along the Thai border was a direct response to the encroachment by Thai troops at Preah Vihear and Ta Moan Thom temples.

"People constitute a strong fence to defend Cambodia's borders," San Vanna said.

Most of the 224 kilometres of border area in Oddar Meanchey is mountainous and heavily forested, with few roads or people.

"More new villages and people's presence along border will help protect [our land]," San Vanna said.

"We rushed to form these new villages after receiving instructions," he said. "I do not know how many villages have been formed to date as there has been no official registration yet."

Defending the nation

Long Sovann, deputy governor of Preah Vihear province, said that he has not received any instructions to populate the 100-kilometre stretch along the border, which currently only has two villages.

"More villages along Preah Vihear's border would help to defend the nation," he said.

Battambang province Governor Prach Chan said that while he has also not received any instructions, Battambang's three districts along the border are already densely populated.

But he expressed support for the government's plan to populate the border areas.

"This is strategy to defend our nation as well as develop the area," Prach Chan said.

The government also has plans to build two roads linking the border areas.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese living in Kingdom more than doubles since ’17

    The number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia this year has increased to more than 210,000. The figure rose from last year’s 100,000, the newly appointed Secretary of State Sok Phal confirmed yesterday. He said: “Of the 210,000, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but