Cambodia-Thailand Border Tensions Impeding Demining

Demining personnel in Cambodia say tensions in the heavily-mined border region between Cambodia and Thailand are impeding demining.  Cambodian troops deployed to the area are worried that the explosive disposal of mines and ordnance could be misunderstood as an outbreak of fighting.

“These are very sensitive areas … where there is a degree of dispute between the two sides about the exact location of the border,” Rupert Leighton of Mines Advisory Group (MAG) told the Phnom Penh Post. “The military doesn’t want indiscriminate explosions.”    

Earlier this month, the Cambodian government accused Thailand of using demining as a cover to occupy Cambodian territory. In recent comments to the Phnom Penh Post, however, an official from the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) said he believed both countries would abide by a July military agreement that planned a joint Thai-Cambodian demining unit for the border region.

Read the Phnom Penh Post story here.

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~ by Matthew Bolton on 27 November 2008.

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