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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid