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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid