News / Asia

International Court Rules on Cambodia-Thailand Border Dispute

A Cambodian soldier talks on a phone from his position at the Preah Vihear temple on the border between Thailand and Cambodia, February 9, 2011. The UN's highest court has ordered both Cambodia and Thailand to immediately withdraw all troops from a newly
A Cambodian soldier talks on a phone from his position at the Preah Vihear temple on the border between Thailand and Cambodia, February 9, 2011. The UN's highest court has ordered both Cambodia and Thailand to immediately withdraw all troops from a newly

The International Court of Justice in The Hague on Monday court has ordered Thailand and Cambodia to immediately withdraw soldiers from a disputed border area where they clashed earlier this year.

The court also ruled that both sides allow in observers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to help prevent new hostilities and declared the disputed border area between Thailand and Cambodia a temporary demilitarized zone.

The court also warned that until it has given a final ruling, it must remain informed of all matters regarding the case.

The Thai and Cambodia foreign ministers attended the court session and both indicated they were satisfied with the decision and would abide by it.

The international court said the measures were needed urgently to prevent what it called “irreparable damages” while it decides which country owns the territory.

Judge Hisashi Owada, president of court, read out the decision.

"By 11 votes to 5, both parties shall immediately withdraw their military personnel currently present in the provisional demilitarized zone as defined in paragraph 62 of the present order. And refrain from any military presence within that zone and from any armed activity directed at that zone."

The court also rejected Thailand’s request that it dismiss Cambodia's request for an interpretation of the legal rights to the territory surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu-Khmer temple.

The temple is called Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Phra Viharn in Thailand.

In 1962, the court ruled the temple belonged to Cambodia, but Phnom Penh and Bangkok dispute ownership of land around the temple.

The dispute flared up in 2008, when the United Nations declared the temple a World Heritage site, sparking nationalist reactions on both sides. Earlier this year, Cambodia asked the court to give an interpretation of the original ruling.

Michael Montesano, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, says the ruling could be interpreted as a victory for Thai nationalists whose campaigns opposing Cambodian claims to the territory helped revive tensions.

"One can understand why the Cambodians might feel a bit bitter about this ruling, however, because the tensions over the temple emanate from Thai domestic politics," Montesano says. "They are really the opening of an old sore on the part of the Thais for domestic political purposes. And the Cambodians now find themselves being treated no differently from the Thais by the International Court of Justice."

At least 20 soldiers and civilians have been killed since in sporadic fighting between the two militaries.

The judges also ordered Thailand not to obstruct Cambodia’s free access to the temple. Although Cambodia manages the temple, Thailand controls the main road leading to it.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid