Cambodian border growing clearer

Cambodian border growing clearer

11 areas are still being negotiated

Thailand and Cambodia are working together to demarcate the border between the two countries while promoting activities to foster friendly relations among their citizens, army spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said.

The spokeswoman said border authorities from both countries have surveyed the locations of boundary markers as agreed in a memorandum of understanding on land surveying and border demarcation signed in 2000. At present, 13 border areas have been agreed upon by both sides and demarcated, while 11 more are being negotiated, she said.

In areas which are subject to overlapping claims by Thailand and Cambodia, both nations have agreed to not carry out development and/or other works which may alter the landscape, until they can reach an agreement, Col Sirichan said.

With regards to the operation launched in 2000 to clear 219 areas covering some 181 million square metres in Sa Kaeo -- which borders Cambodia -- of anti-personnel landmines, Col Sirichan said 209 areas have been successfully de-mined.

The army has also been coordinating with Cambodia's military leaders to ensure all channels remain open to resolving any issues that may arise along the border, the spokeswoman said.

Authorities in Sa Kaeo have also stepped up border patrols to tackle illegal entry and prevent the trafficking of illicit drugs, stolen vehicles and other contraband materials, as well as to rescue Thais who were lured into working for call centre scammers in the neighbouring country.

Col Sirichan said the army's Burapha Task Force has launched a project to set up 51 "self-defence" villages along the Thai-Cambodia border in Sa Kaeo.

At the same time, the task force has been granted permission to use some part of the national forest reserve area in Sa Kaeo to build the villages. Currently, there are more than 8,000 households benefiting from the project, she said. Moreover, Thailand and Cambodia have also launched a joint project to set up villages along the border as part of an effort to foster bilateral ties while improving the quality of life of people on both sides of the border, she said.

Currently, there are 64 such villages on the Thai side and 46 such villages on the Cambodian side, with joint activities held regularly to promote peace and security along the border, Col Sirichan said.

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