Cambodia wins Preah Vihear ruling

Cambodian soldiers on guard at Preah Vihear

BOMBORRA IMAGES — A photo feature from Luke Hunt taken at Preah Viihear before the fighting abated on the Cambodian border with Thailand. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on November 11, 2013 a promontory and most of the nearby land that surrounds the 11th century temples at Preah Vihear belonged to Cambodia.The ICJ, the world’s highest court, also clarified the border that divides the two countries with the exception of one nearby hill and said “the parties had an obligation to settle any dispute between them by peaceful means.”

Relations between Cambodia and Thailand improved after the election of Yingluck Shinawatra in August 2011 with both sides pulling their soldiers back ahead of an ICJ ruling. Thai troops were ordered into the area after UNESCO responded to lobbying by Cambodia and listed Preah Vihear as a World Heritage site in 2008. Preah Vihear sits 700 meters inside the Cambodian border and Cambodian sovereignty over the site was reaffirmed in 1962 by an international court. The area in the Dangrek Mountains has been recently disputed by Thailand despite initial agreements reached in 1908.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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