Source: Radio Free Asia
A group of Thai soldiers have on Friday 29th crossed the borders to evict Khmer villagers from Choup Koki village in Oddar Meanchey province by claiming that those villagers built their houses on Thai soil, reports Radio Free Asia.
Khmer villagers and soldiers based in Choup Koki village said that, in the last 4-5 days, Thai soldiers have come to demand villagers demolish and dismantle 10 houses from East Choup Koki village which the villagers claimed to have been built many, many years ago.
Mr. Soy Thlai, chief of West Choup Koki village, said Thai soldiers demanded the villagers to dismantle 14 houses that they have lived in for many, many years already. "They have ordered the villagers from East Choup Koki to dismantle their houses. They have started to order the people from 22nd through to 28th (of January). Today, we haven't seen them come yet. Yesterday they had also came to order the villagers to dismantle their houses, in total 14 houses that they demanded demolished because they said that the lands are Thai territories. But so far, we have not moved out yet", he said.
villagers said recently a group of thai soldiers came in and ordered an old intellectually-disabled lady to dismantle her hut from the village by saying that the old lady built her house on Thai soil.
Capt. Phan Roeun, Cambodian commander based in the village, said on Thursday the Thais came again, but left when Cambodian soldiers challenged them. "There is an intellectually-disabled old lady who built her hut in a spot called "white (disputed) zone". The black-clad Thai soldiers came and ordered her to dismantle her house. Yesterday they came again. When we asked them they said they came for a visit, but when we challeged them they left. They said they wanted 10 houses to be dismantled because they said all these lands from here to the foot of the mountains are Thai territories. We didn't follow their order and we just live there as normal. We have deployed our troops in the area for the last 12 days already", he said.
Villagers said that many villagers from both West and east Choup Koki villages have already moved out because of the lack of food and because they are scared of harrassments from the Thai soldiers.