RCAF commanders from Military Region 5 are appealing to government and the private sector to fund construction of more border posts and roads along the northwestern border with Thailand.
General Bun Seng, head of Military Region 5, said Thursday he hopes to have guard posts every 2 to 3 kilometers along the 356-km stretch of border under his command.
Posts are currently 3 to 5 km apart, Bun Seng said. “Before we focused on the war, but it ended five years ago. Now it is time for us to pay attention to protecting our territorial sovereignty,” he said.
Military officials also said they have feel neglected by the government since peace arrived in Cambodia. Guarding the border is a hardship posting, marked by isolation and poor accommodations, Bun Seng said.
A lack of passable roads means soldiers spend much of their time hiking between 10 and 15 km between their border posts, their division base and their families’ homes, he added.
Bun Seng also complained that all RCAF border stations under his command are made of wood, not concrete.
One RCAF general, who requested anonymity, said Wednesday the military feels neglected now that peace has been made expendable.
“Since the war ended, our requests are always ignored and the government focuses on other areas,” the general said.
Ngy Chanphal, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, said Thursday that border development was an ongoing government mission—but one that goes slow in the northwest because of its abundance of land mines.