In the early morning of one of the last days of last November, when it was cold and dew still covered Marker 588 managed by Co Ba Border Post, Luc Van Leo from Phieng Mon village, Co Ba commune, with a machete and broom in hand, was present at the marker. He pulled weeds, cleaned the marker and then left when seeing nothing abnormal.

Troops of Co Ba Border Post disseminate law in Phieng Sang village.

In the past, this man and many Phieng Mon villagers thought that the management and protection of border security and sovereignty were just the task of the border guard force, not of the local people; therefore, they were not enthusiastic when border guards asked for help.

To make local people actively engage in the work, the post was determined to enhance law dissemination and education to raise their awareness, thus inspiring them to take action. The post leaders assigned troops to conduct "five-withs" in Phieng Mon village. Accordingly, border guards had meals, lived in the same houses, worked, spoke the same language, and safeguarded border paths and border markers “with” local people.

Rich in knowledge of the Party’s guidelines, the State’s law and policies on border protection, Leo changed his mind and becomes pro-active in protecting border markers now. He said that he visits and checks the border marker several times a week. For him, visiting the marker is his habit.

Managing more than 19km of the borderline with 33 markers in Co Ba and Thuong Ha communes which house the Tay, Nung, H’mong, Dao, San Chi, and Lo Lo ethnic minority groups, Co Ba Border Post has applied different dissemination forms to each village and ethnic minority group to ensure the highest efficiency of the work.

Quan Van Chung, head of Phieng Sang village in Co Ba commune, said that the post regularly raises local people’s awareness of law in meetings of the village or of the village’s Party committee. Sometimes, border guards go to each house to disseminate law to villagers, thus promoting law enforcement and maintaining security and order in the locality.

To make the dissemination work effective, Co Ba border guards teamed up with local authorities to compile and record legal regulations in languages of ethnic minority groups and hang banners, posters in easy-to-see areas.

Lieutenant Truong Phuc Khoa, head of the Armed Forces Team of Co Ba Border Post, shared his hand-on experience that he made use of during patrol sessions, border patrol road cleaning to show local people how the border visibility range was regulated, which places farming, hunting, and grazing are not allowed, and more. These actual things helped them understand the law easily. 

According to Lieutenant Colonel Tran Van Kham, Deputy Political Commissar of Co Ba Border Post, alongside dissemination, the unit has strengthened patrols to handle violations of law in a timely manner as a deterrent. It has also developed economic models, built public facilities and others to improve local people’s living standards. In return, locals have actively supported border guards to fight against crimes and protect national sovereignty and border security.

Translated by Mai Huong