21 August 2011

Bo Rai Border Camp (UNTAC Mail)

This is a letter sent by a United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) staff located in Bo Rai in 1993.

Bo Rai is a border town in Trat Province of eastern Thailand. It had a Cambodian refugee camp which accommodated the people displaced by the 1985 fighting between the Vietnamese army and the Khmer Rouge along the Thai border.

Bo Rai camp occupants were mainly the refuging Khmer Rouge and their followers. Other than Bo Rai, there were four other similar camps, namely Huay Chan, Na Trao, Ta Luan and Site 8 (Phum Tmey). All these camps were administrated by the Khmer Rouge, Site 8 was the largest and most important one but Bo Rai was where Pol Pot actually lived.

Famous for its gemstone mines, Bo Rai was one of the geese which laid gold eggs to fuel the Khmer Rouge resistance against the Vietnamese backed Phnom Penh government in the second half of 1980s.

Location of border camps held by different factions.
(From John Rogge "Return to Cambodia" 1990)

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