Six border checkpoints in Banteay Meanchey province were on Saturday closed unilaterally and without warning by Thailand, local officials and border police said.
Lieutenant Colonel So Channry, chief of the 911 border battalion in O’Chrov district, said that Thai authorities had closed the checkpoints, one of which has since been reopened, in retaliation against Cambodian plans to open a new checkpoint near border marker number 43—an area Cambodia claims as its own territory, despite Thailand’s insistence it is neutral ground.
“The checkpoints were closed unilaterally by Thailand. Thai authorities are demanding that we remove markers placed for the new checkpoint,” Lt. Col. Channry said.
Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Kousoum Saroeuth lamented the lack of communication from the other side of the border.
“If there is a problem, they ought to tell us and find a solution, not close the checkpoints without warning,” he said.
The Samphan Rith Company was granted permission to build a new road and checkpoint near border marker 43, which Thailand claims is a breach of the neutral zone.