RCAF Orders Check of Regional Road Project

RCAF commanders have or­dered border military forces to reinvestigate road construction initiated in Vietnam that apparently cuts through a tiny piece of Cambodia on its way to neighboring Laos.

The small logging road is located in the so-called “dragon’s tail,” a narrow strip of Cambodian land in the most northeastern corner of Ratanakkiri province that separates Vietnam and Laos, according to an RCAF report presented Monday to the Ministry of Def­ense.

The report does not state the construction date or length of the road.

Var Kim Hong, chairman of the Cambodian border commission, said there is an old road in the area that was built by the French.

“I visited there once in 1998,” he said. “I saw that it was old and couldn’t be used during the rainy season. I don’t know if this is a new road or if they just repaired the old one.”

He said the only recent border demarcation problem he was aware of concerned a dispute with Thailand in Oddar Mean­chey province.

He said the information had been passed on to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for discussion with the Thai government.

An RCAF general who asked not to be named said he had de­cided to send troops out to in­spect the road, with orders to block it or destroy it if it appears to be usable.

Ratanakkiri Governor Kham Khoeun said the police he keeps deployed at the border had not reported any road building in the “dragon’s tail” area.

He did say, however, that two weeks ago a Vietnamese company was discovered bulldozing 100 hectares of Cambodian land farther south along the border in O’Ya-daw district.

He said the company stopped work after he wrote them a letter.


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