The United Nation’s highest court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has ordered Thailand and Cambodia to withdraw troops from a disputed border area. Both countries have made territorial claims to land surrounding the Preah Vihear temple complex. The UN awarded ownership of the temple to Cambodia in 1962, but the surrounding land and borders remain in dispute. The border area at Preah Vihear and at other points further along has always been a contentious issue between Thailand and Cambodia with numerous clashes taking place over the decades. Most recently in February-April of this year, Thai and Cambodian troops clashed at different points along the border and thousands of residents in the area were evacuated.
The ICJ has ordered a demilitarised zone in and around the Preah Vihear temple complex and also said that both Thailand and Cambodia must allow access to the area by observers from the regional bloc ASEAN.