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18 Map Sections Delivered To Cambodian Mission in New York

H.E. Ho Xuan Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs talks to his translator in a close door bilateral meeting with Var Kim Hong, chairman of the Cambodian Government Border Committee over border issues at Council of Ministers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 7, 2015 .

UN officials have delivered 18 sections of map to Cambodia, which is in the midst of a border row with Vietnam.

Prime Minister Hun Sen had requested maps from the UN to show border demarcation from the pre-Khmer Rouge era, after Cambodia and Vietnam were freed from French colonialism.

The map sections were delivered to the permanent mission of Cambodia in New York, a UN spokeswoman said Friday. Cambodian officials there say they are waiting to receive more sections before commenting.

Prime Minister Hun Sen had requested maps from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month, following a violent clash between pro-opposition activists and Vietnamese border security.

Hun Sen had asked for maps deposited to the UN in 1964, to help show the border demarcations. He has been criticized over the years by the opposition for losing Cambodian territory to its neighbors.

Sean Pengse, president of the Cambodian Border Committee in France, said 126 map sections are needed to view the entire border.

His committee has maps printed in 1933 and 1953 and it will provide “free of charge” if the Cambodian government wants them, he said. Those maps were made under French colonialism – while the Vietnamese-drafted maps were made based on later American maps, he added.

“The Vietnamese maps are different from the French maps,” he said. “Even though they’re similar, other things are different, so we have to be careful.”

Cambodian border officials have said that some maps can be hard to read, in terms of physical geography, making border demarcation difficult. But Sean Pengse said the demarcation is made difficult by politics. Vietnam is following maps made in 1970, and it will be hard to convince it to follow others, he said.