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Cambodia Seeking Immediate Border Observers

  • Chun Sakada
  • VOA Khmer

The International Court of Justice ordered Thai and Cambodian troops to leave a contentious border area on Monday, while also paving the way for an observer mission and creating a “provisional demilitarized zone.”

The International Court of Justice ordered Thai and Cambodian troops to leave a contentious border area on Monday, while also paving the way for an observer mission and creating a “provisional demilitarized zone.”

Cambodia on Wednesday urged Indonesia to send monitors to the border near Preah Vihear temple to enforce a demilitarized zone ordered by the UN’s highest court this week.

Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, who returned from The Hague on Wednesday, told reporters he was requesting Indonesia to send observers “immediately.”

The International Court of Justice ordered Thai and Cambodian troops to leave a contentious border area on Monday, while also paving the way for an observer mission and creating a “provisional demilitarized zone.”

Neither side has withdrawn troops from the border, the site of deadly, sporadic fighting since 2008.

Hor Namhong said Cambodia is prepared to withdraw its forces from the zone once observers arrive, adding that the court decision is “not conditional.”

“If Thailand does not implement the decision of the International Court of Justice, we have other measures,” he said without elaborating. “The court has measures and the United Nations Security Council has measures.”

The Jakarta Post quoted Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, of Indonesia, saying Asean is “being called upon” to move the court order forward. “Asean will need the cooperation of both parties,” he said, but it would take time for them to interpret the ruling and comply with it.

However, Thailand is in the midst of a political shift, following elections earlier this month, and the Bangkok Post reported its outgoing prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, saying the court mandate will be handled by the incoming government.

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