Cambodia calls for the Security Council to intervene over clashes
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Cambodia calls for the Security Council to intervene over clashes

After three days of clashes between the Thai and Cambodian military on the border near Sri Saket province in Thailand (with both sides blaming the other for starting first), the Cambodians have protested to the UN over what they view as Thai aggression.

The first letter dated February 5 is signed by the Cambodian Foreign Minister and is sent to the President of the UN Security Council. The letter gives the Cambodian view of what happened for the first two days as excerpted below:

On 4 February 2011, between 15:00 to 17:00, approximately 300 Thai troops entered Cambodian territory and attacked Cambodian troops at three locations, namely KHMUM located just 500 metres from the staircase of the TEMPLE of PREAH VIHEAR, VEAL INTRY area and PHNOM TRAP hill situated approximately 1,120 and 1,600 metres, respectively from the border inside Cambodian territory. This aggression by Thai armed forces was also followed by firing of many 130 mm and 155 mm artillery shells which reached as far as about 20 km inside Cambodian territory. The attack caused many serious damages [sic] to the TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR, a World Heritage [site], as well as death[s] and injur[ies] of more than ten Cambodian troops and villagers

Again, on the morning of 4 February 2011, at 06:30, Thai armed forces fired a number of 105 mm artillery shells at PHNOM TRAP hill, which lasted for about 20 minutes.

Facing this flagrant aggression, Cambodian troops had no option, but to retaliate in self-defense and in order to safeguard Cambodia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

BP: The letter than refers to three previous acts of aggression by Thailand and cites how the acts breach the UN Charter and the only action it asks is for the letter be circulated to members of the Security Council.

A second letter dated February 6 is sent to the President of the UN Security Council, but this time is signed by Hun Sen. The letter gives the Cambodian view of what happened on February 6 as excerpted below:

Once again, despite negotiation by the field commanders of both sides for a cease fire, on February 6, 2011 at 18:20, Thai armed forces launched a full scale armed aggression against Cambodia, using heavy sophisticated weapons including many 105, 120, 130[, and] 155 [mm] artillery shells which were fired into the TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR, a World Heritage [site], the region of TASEM, VEAL INTRY and PHNOM TRAP hill and others. All these areas are well inside Cambodian territory. ThaiĀ  artillery shells have landed as far as approximately 20 km inside Cambodian territory.

Considering this recent extremely grave aggression by Thailand which has gravely threatened peace and stability in the region, I earnestly request Your Excellency to convene an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council so as to stop Thailand’s aggression.

BP: As you see this letter calls for the Security Council to meet. Previously, this seemed unlikely, but the situation on the border has been escalating (last night, army spokesman Col. Sansern stated that the fighting on Sunday was more intense than the previous two days) it is now not unthinkable that the Security Council would meet over what has transpired. No doubt Thailand will also respond although Thailand is unlikely to want the Security Council to meet to discuss the border issue – particularly anywhere near Preah Vihear given the ICJ decision of 1962 in Cambodia’s favour and BP views it is more than likely if the ICJ were to consider the 4.6 sq km disputed area that it would be in Cambodia’s favour.

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