The International Court of Justice in the Hague has ruled in Cambodia’s favour in their long-running dispute with Thailand concerning land around the Preah Vihear temple. The UN court said Thailand must withdraw troops from specific areas around the temple, but the complicated nature of the issue means that there is still some land which the ICJ says it has no jurisdiction over. Cambodia are likely to be happier with the ruling and the Thai prime minister has called for Thais to accept the verdict which comes at a time when Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration is under pressure from street protests sparked by a proposed amnesty bill.
Both countries have agreed to work together to keep the border area peaceful with bi-lateral negotiations due to continue to try and reach an agreement on the land that the ICJ ruling did not cover. Over the years, the land dispute has been a rallying call for nationalists in both Cambodia and Thailand. The border has seen clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops in the past, but more recently military leaders on both sides have been fostering better relations.