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Cambodia asks ICJ to order withdrawal of Thai troops from disputed border area

The Cambodian government on Monday asked [press release] the UN International Court of Justice [official websites] to order Thai troops to withdraw from a disputed border area surrounding the Temple of Preah Vihear [UNESCO profile]. Cambodia sought clarification from the court of a 1962 decision [judgment, PDF] awarding the temple to the Cambodian city of Phnom Penh. Cambodia argued before a panel of 16 judges [Aljazeera report] that the troops in the surrounding area of the temple are a threat to the security and peace of the region. Thailand argues that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to decide border disputes between countries. Thailand does not dispute [Bangkok Post report] the Cambodia's ownership of the temple ruins but does dispute ownership of the 4.6 kilometer area surrounding the temple.

Last month, Cambodia petitioned the court [JURIST report] requesting clarification of the 1962 order to "peacefully and definitely settle the boundary problem between [Cambodia and Thailand] in the area of the Temple of Preah Vihear." Parts of the Cambodia-Thailand border have never been formally demarcated, which has led to border disputes [BBC report]. In response to the latest border clash [JURIST report], UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon [official website; JURIST news archive] stressed that the dispute could not be resolved through military force [statement] and urged both sides to continue working towards a ceasefire.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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