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Border Experts Want Treaties With Vietnam Nullified


Um Sam An, a lawmaker from the opposition CNRP Party​ (left) and VOA Khmer radio host Sok Khemara in Phnom Penh studio, as Sean Pengse, President of French-based Cambodia's Border Committee (not pictured) joins 'Hello VOA' via phone. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)

Um Sam An, a lawmaker from the opposition CNRP Party​ (left) and VOA Khmer radio host Sok Khemara in Phnom Penh studio, as Sean Pengse, President of French-based Cambodia's Border Committee (not pictured) joins 'Hello VOA' via phone. (Lim Sothy/VOA Khmer)

Cambodian border experts say the government should nullify treaties it has with Vietnam and begin again border demarcation under the 1991 Paris Peace Accords.

Cambodia has a number of agreements it signed with Vietnam in the 1980s, when it was under Vietnamese occupation, and in 2005. But the government has come under increased pressure to end alleged border encroachment by Vietnam, which is a thorny political issue for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Sean Pengse, head of the France-based advocacy group Cambodia’s Border Committee, told “Hello VOA” Thursday that Cambodia has a right to use the Peace Accords and call on signatory countries to help solve issues like the border, whether Vietnam agrees or not. “As long as we don’t respect the Paris Peace Accords, we can’t solve it, because the issues are complicated,” he said.

Um Sam An, a lawmaker for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, told “Hello VOA” that the Cambodian government has proven unwilling to complain to the International Court of Justice over Vietnamese encroachment. Vietnam is not going to voluntarily give up land it has gained, he said.

Opposition lawmakers have asked that Hun Sen cancel treaties from 1982, 1983, 1985 and 2005, in order to reopen border negotiations with Vietnam, Um Sam An said. International maps should be agreed upon and border demarcation made with participation on the UN and other nations, he said.

But Sean Pengse said maps are another sticking point, because Vietnam may not agree with how other international maps are drawn up.

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