There have been many casualties in the unofficial war along the border between Vietnam and Cambodia.
There have been many casualties in the unofficial war along the border between Vietnam and Cambodia. Refugees have been made homeless by the fighting and the death-toll rises steadily. China has supplied the Cambodians with weapons while the Soviet Union is backing the Vietnamese. Both sides blame each other for the recent violence and claim to have won substantial victories during the skirmishes. One of the most obvious results of the war has been the growing number of Cambodians being taken prisoner and being hold in camps in Vietnam.
SYNOPSIS: More than 300 Khmer soldiers are being held in Xuan Loc Province. All were said to have been carrying arms on Vietnamese territory when captured any may are young boy aged between 12 and 13. More than 80 per cent of the prisoners are illiterate. Because of the fighting, Vietnam has reintroduced conscription, calling up troops demobilised in 1975 in 1975 after the fall of Saigon and the North Vietnamese Victory in the south. In Cambodia there have been widespread purges of anyone connected with the deposed regime of Marshal Lon Nol, overthrown by the Communists three years ago, including ex-soldiers.
These young teenagers are typical of the soldiers now fighting in the new Cambodian army. There are reports that China ha supplied Cambodia with sophisticated radar-controlled anti-aircraft weapons but has also had to ?? skilled military to ??? to ??? the Cambodian army how to use them.
The prisoners are held in a well-guarded compound but reports suggest their living conditions are adequate. There are books to look at if not read and the means to entertain themselves while they await the outcome of South East Asia's most recent war.
This young Cambodian soldier described his involvement in the fighting against Vietnamese troops which as lasted more than 18 months. During that time there have been several attempts to arrange pace negotiations but both countries have said the other's terms for settlement are unacceptable. Cambodia claims to have killed 1,200 Vietnamese soldiers since the beginning of the year and Vietnam claims to have wiped out several cambodian battalions. Civilian refugees from the border area pour into vietnam and neighbouring Thailand to escape from both the fighting and the reported hardships of life in Cambodia under the administration of President Khiou Samghan.