Cambodia, Thailand Experiencing Border Tensions

The Thai-Cambodia border closed after a skirmish between Thai and Cambodian troops, impacting the city of Poipet, where Alliance workers serve. The two countries have been at odds over whether territory near an ancient temple forms part of Thailand or Cambodia. Poipet is 250 kilometers away from where the skirmish took place.  
Alliance workers in Poipet reported that Thai officials told Khmer workers in Thailand to return to Cambodia. “The border closed at about 3 pm, and many Khmers were still stuck in Thailand,” said Alliance missionaries who serve in the border town of Poipet. “Though there was no sound of gunfire, the entire town was in a state of confusion. People were flooding out of Poipet! The only main road in [the city] was completely packed with motorbikes, cars, and other [vehicles].”  
“When all this started, we were about seven kilometers away from home, driving from Ang Salaa Village,” said our workers. “We got home to find church families sitting by our porch, waiting and hoping that we would have answers for their worried hearts.” Although our workers prepared to evacuate if necessary, “by the look of the situation, we might be safer to remain in one place,” they said. “Many have left or are leaving Poipet, but many more still remain.” 
“We do not have missionaries directly near the areas of the actual fighting,” said an Alliance spokesperson in Cambodia. “However, all areas along the Cambodian/Thai border are tense. At this point, we can continue on in life and ministry as normal.” C&MA missionaries in Poipet report that all was quiet at night following the skirmish. 
Many needy families, whose lives depend on their daily income, were in a state of panic as the markets closed, meaning no more jobs and no food. “Our biggest fear right now is not about the potential for war but about the sudden lack of basic food sources. The price of gasoline and food, when still available, is double if not more,” said Alliance workers. “There is a greater chance for looting, robberies, accidents, and more.” Pray for Alliance workers and their national church partners as they reach out to those affected by the turmoil.


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