Cambodia Playing up Border Tensions With Laos to Distract From Sam Rainsy Return: Analysts

Tensions along the border between Cambodia and Laos are likely being exaggerated by Cambodia’s government as part of a bid to distract the public from the impending return of acting opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) chief Sam Rainsy from self-imposed exile, analysts said Friday.

Local authorities in Preah Vihear province, which borders Laos in northern Cambodia, recently told RFA’s Khmer Service that they are preparing to evacuate at least 300 villagers from four villages in Choam Khsant district in the event that a dispute between soldiers from either side of the boundary intensifies.

“I haven’t disseminated information about the tensions yet, and will wait until the situation escalates to armed conflict before starting an evacuation,” Morodok commune chief Diem Vai said, adding that his superiors had yet to issue an order to proceed.

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