A border organization has accused Thai soldiers of encroaching on Cambodian land, though provincial officials have denied the accusation.
Buth Rasmei Kongkea, president of the Khmer Borders Protection Organization, said Tuesday that Thai soldiers have moved border markers and bulldozed new roads 500 meters into northwestern Cambodia, adding that local authorities have not intervened,.
A Thai embassy official who handles border issues couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
The KBPO spent the month of July investigating possible border violations by Thai soldiers in Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Oddor Meanchey provinces, Buth Rasmei Kongkea said. During visits to border villages, they heard from villagers who claimed Thai soldiers knocked down the posts that mark the border.
Both Battambang’s Second Deputy Governor Pa Socheatvong and Banteay Meanchey Governor Thach Khorn said there was no incursion.
Var Kim Hong, chairman of the Border Affairs Commission at the Council of Ministers, said he had not yet read the KBPO’s statement and had no comment.
“The Cambodian border commission seems to have done nothing to resolve the encroachment. We would like to call for the Thai government to immediately cease the aggression and moving demarcation marks into Cambodian soil,” Buth Rasmei Kongkea said Tuesday.
Alleged Incursions by the Thai military have been a recurring issue along the border. Past incidents have been dismissed by Thai officials as “insignificant” in one case and as a “misunderstanding” in another.
In June King Norodom Sihanouk asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to look into possible violations by Vietnam and Thailand. The king made the request after receiving a letter from the border organization asking him to intervene.
Cambodian officials have met several times with both Thai and Vietnamese officials regarding the easily breached borders.
Thailand and Cambodia signed an agreement in July to share information on border violations and crack down on criminal activity such as smuggling and illegal immigration.