The first of hundreds of thousands of Kampuchean refugees massed along Thailand's eastern border begin to move into camps on Thai territory on Wednesday (21 November).
The first of hundreds of thousands of Kampuchean refugees massed along Thailand's eastern border begin to move into camps on Thai territory on Wednesday (21 November). The are crossing into Thailand to be moved to the site of a huge new camp being hastily construction seven miles (11 KM) inside the border. Among those waiting for the move, is a group of Free Khmers (Khmer Serika).
SYNOPSIS: There are about two hundred thousand Free Khmers camped along the Thai-Kampuchean border. These refugees are led by thirty-nine year old In Sakhan, President of the Liberation Movement of Khmer Anghor, and are neither Phnom Penh nor Pol Pot supporters.
In Sakhan, a former army capital under the Lon Nol government, says his movement is seeking a peaceful solution to the Kampuchean crisis, with the help of the free-world's assistance and understanding.
He said the sick and the children would go to the new camp, but the young and able-bodies would stay to fight the enemies.
The new camp, covering an area of about one square mile (3 sq. km), is expected top house some three hundred thousand refugees, and could grow even bigger.
Under present plans, about ten thousand refugees a day will be admitted to the camp, which, when completed, will be the biggest in Thailand. There are an estimated four hundred and thirty thousand Kampucheans massed along the border. International organisations are expected to persuade the refugees to move into the camps.
Diplomatic source said one hundred and thirty thousand refugees, believed to be under the control of guerrillas loyal to the ousted Pol Pot regime, could cross the border at any time.
The rush to move the refugees according to Air Marshall Siddhi Savetsila, Thai Minister in Charge of Refugee Affairs is for security reasons. Thai troops were reported to have clashed with unidentified Kampuchean forces in the area of Wednesday (21 November).