Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Cambodian front line soldiers exchange guns for fishing lines

The Thai-Cambodian Joint Border Commission is set to meet for talks in Thailand on November 10 to resolve the ongoing border standoff between the two nations, pending the approval of the Thai parliament, which is set to consider the issue today.

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Thet Sambath
Tuesday, 28 October 2008

As tensions relax in the wake of this month's armed clashes, RCAF soldiers at the border are angling for something other than war

BORDER tensions have relaxed to the point where Cambodian soldiers stationed at the Ta Moan Thom and Ta Krabey temples have started fishing in their off time, according to RCAF officers.

"Since the situation has eased, our soldiers have found time to go catch fish in small rivers along the Dangrek mountains," Ho Bunthy, deputy commander of Border Military Unit 402, told the Post Monday.

"They are on alert, but they do not need to carry weapons for the whole day as they have done before. They can put their guns down and go to fish for food," he added.

Neak Vong, deputy commander of Brigade 42, stationed at Ta Moan Thom temple, said that the main challenge for the local troops at the moment was the torrential rain, which has not let up for three days.

"The situation is much better than before, but soldiers at the front line have faced rain almost every day for two weeks. We do not confront [the Thais] like before," Neak Vong said, adding that rains had at least swelled local streams and given soldiers somewhere to fish.

"My soldiers have put their guns down and go to fish for food at some places because there is more rain and there are more fish to catch," he said.

Yim Phim, commander of Brigade 43 stationed at Preah Vihear, said that the situation was normal Monday and that Thai soldiers had not appeared at Veal Antri since this month's brief firefight between troops from both sides.

"The situation is normal, but our soldiers are still on the alert to defend the nation," he said. "We have not seen Thai soldiers at Veal Antri since our two clashes took place."


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