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Cambodia and Thailand: Internally Displaced People - Information Bulletin n° 2

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This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. No external support is sought at this time.

The situation

Serious clashes along the Cambodian-Thai border between the two respective militaries have continued over the past five days. The current phase of conflict started on Friday 22 April at 06:00 (local time) along the border of Surin and Buriram provinces on the Thai side, and Oddor Meanchey province on the Cambodian side. The clashes are in the area near to the Ta Krabey and Ta Moan temples. The area is dense jungle and has a history of tension between the two countries. As a result of the clashes, the border crossing at O Smach (Oddor Meanchey) has been closed.
Village dwellers living along both sides of the border have been evacuated. On the Thai side, this includes residents in Pranomdongrak, Prasat and Gabcheong districts, Surin province, and in Ban Guad district, Buriram province. It is reported that up to 50,000 people on both sides of the border have been evacuated.

The setting up of centres for internally displaced people (IDP) in schools, temples and public facilities is part of the contingency planning of the authorities in both Surin and Buriram. The governors of both provinces have coordinated the response involving the Red Cross, NGOs and and other actors.

The area is about 200km from the disputed Preah Vihear temple, where clashes broke out between the two sides in February 2011.

It is reported that 12 soldiers have been killed during the violence: seven from Cambodia and five from Thailand. Up to 31 Thai soldiers are reported injured as well as 17 Cambodian soldiers.
The UN secretary general has called on both sides to observe a ceasefire. However, while diplomatic efforts from various quarters continue, reports from Red Cross assessment teams on both sides of the border indicate that the situation on 27 April remains challenging and are likely to worsen.