Thailand and Cambodia must immediately withdraw their troops, ruled the International Court today
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Thailand and Cambodia must immediately withdraw their troops, ruled the International Court today

The Hague. The International Court of Justice ruled today over the Cambodian request for interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear. The Court orders an ‘immediately withdraw’ of their military personnel currently present in the ‘provisional demilitarized zone.’ Both countries must refrain from ‘any military presence within that zone and from any armed activity directed at that zone,’ said today ICJ in a press released. [1, pdf]

Cambodia asked the Court to give an interpretation of the 1962 judgment concerning the 11th century temple sovereignty and its surrounding areas. The request was sent to the Court after the intensification of military clashes between both countries in the area last April. Thailand, by its part, asked the Court to remove such request from the General List, a request that was ‘unanimously rejected’ by the ICJ.

The decision got 11 votes for and five against to order the bilateral withdraw of military personnel from what the Court defines as ‘demilitarized zone.’ The Court added also that in order to avoid new military clashes in the area of the Temple, any armed forces must be temporarily excluded from a ‘provisional demilitarized zone around the area of the Temple.

Thailand should not obstruct Cambodian free access to the Temple

The Court also stated that Thailand should not obstruct Cambodia’s free access to the Temple or ‘prevent it from providing fresh supplies to its non-military personnel,’ while both countries should continue their cooperation within ASEAN.

It encourages also the allowance of observers appointed by ASEAN, a point that has been opposed by Thailand during the last months. ‘Both Parties should refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve,’ advise the international judges.