The military has ordered 10 tanks and 12 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to move from a military base in Kampot to Phnom Penh, The Cambodia China Times wrote on Wednesday. The vehicles were ordered to arrive in Phnom Penh between the 10th and 11th of April.
Orders were given for the military to mobilize to stop accidents and security problems in the capital during the canceled Khmer New Year holiday. The troops were instructed to be on stand-by due to the Covid-19 situation awaiting further orders from the government.
Yesterday the government imposed a ban on domestic travel stopping people from traveling from one province to another. The ban went in place today at midnight and is expected to be in place for eight days. According to online reports yesterday night the police was breaking up smaller groups consisting of 3-4 people urging them to go home.
The Khmer New Year holiday was announced postponed on Tuesday to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Hundreds of factories have suspended work citing a lack of material and stalled orders. Khmer New Year was previously scheduled to start on April 13 and end on April 16.
The Australian Embassy to Cambodia said on Facebook that its emergency flight scheduled to leave today would go ahead. “We have provided the names of those travelling to Phnom Penh to the Government and will provide registered Australians by email a letter you can show local authorities”, it said in a statement. Australian citizens facing problems on their way to the airport were recommended to phone directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General so that he could speak to the police directly and resolve any problems.
The U.S. Embassy to Cambodia wrote in a similar statement that American citizens that require intra-provincial movement during the period of the ban in order to reach the airport to take an international flight home are recommended to “contact the U.S. Embassy emergency number (tel: +855-23-728-000) so our consular section can work with appropriate Cambodian government authorities to help facilitate your movement.”