Military Heads Plan Meeting

Thai and Cambodian military officials met Tuesday at the Ministry of Defense to prepare for an upcoming meeting on security issues along Cambodia’s borders, the scene of occasional disputes.

The annual meeting has been scheduled for next month.

“We only discussed the preparation of our meeting in July for the progress reports about security along the border. We did not talk about any moving of poles in Cambodia at the Cambodian-Thai border,” Lay Bun Song, the head of foreign affairs for the Defense Ministry, said.

RCAF soldiers have reported recently that both Thai and Vietnamese authorities have been moving bulldozers in and setting up new border-marking poles inside Cambodian territory.

“We are worried about moving in by neighboring countries. They do not respect an agreement between our countries,” an RCAF general who didn’t want to be identified said.

The general added that RCAF has sent troops along the border to investigate the alleged encroachments, but that often the neighboring countries cease operations when they are caught, only to start again later.

In an unrelated recent incident along the Cambodian border, two Cambodians were killed and seven others, including three Laotian officials, were injured when a mine exploded under their car, authorities said.

The group was driving just inside the Laotian-Cambodian border on May 28 and had veered off the boggy main road when they ran over the mine, Touch Naroth, Stung Treng police chief said.

The four wounded Cam­bo­dians are being treated in Phnom Penh hospitals. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Var Kim Hong, chairman of the joint border committee that handles border disputes between Cambodia and its neighbors, blamed the accident on scarce resources.

“We do not have enough equipment to control mines along the way of demarcation poles. It is inevitable to have such accidents, because there were many mines planted along the border area during the war,’ he said.

“If we wait to see the mines cleared, then it will be too late to plant poles for border demarcation,” he said.

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