Official: Thais Buzzing Border

Thai aircraft have been flying over Cambodian territory and Thai troops have been demanding that Cambodian soldiers retreat from their positions along the border, according to military reports.

A few months ago, RCAF commanders warned they would shoot Thai planes and helicopters after they were frequently seen flying over Cambodian territory in the Choam Ksan area in Preah Vi­hear province, officials said.

Now Thai aircraft fly day and night over the “border triangle” between Thailand, Laos and Cam­bodia, violating Cam­bodia’s airspace, a top RCAF commander who didn’t want to be named said.

The commander said RCAF soldiers at Phnom Ban Taveng, in Oddar Meanchey’s Anlong Veng district, are being harassed by Thai soldiers who demand that the Cambodian soldiers retreat from their base, claiming  the land belongs to Thailand.

Pouk Sary, of RCAF Division 2 in Preah Vihear, confirmed that Thai aircraft have been flying over Cambodian territory.

A Thai official said he was un­aware of the incidents de­scribed by the RCAF commander.

General Meas Sophea, an RCAF infantry commander, said the border disputes are resolved and both country’s troops have agreed not to move.

Border areas in Battambang, Koh Kong, and Pursat provinces are also facing similar prob­­lems, the RCAF commander said.

“Our troops cannot leave their position. They must stay even if [the Thai troops] demand that we retreat,” he said.

According to a report from the Interior Ministry, there have been 145 border incidents in the past two months involving troops or civilians. Along the Vietnam-Cambodia border, 111 incidents have occurred, while 29 incidents were listed along the Cambodia-Thai border, the report states.

Incidents are related to Thais and Vietnamese moving into Cambodia to cut trees, make dams, dig canals and cultivate land, the report claims.

Ich Saro, chief deputy of cabinet for the Interior Ministry, said the government has been trying to solve border issues with Thailand and Vietnam while avoiding armed conflict.






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