Preah Vihear: ASEAN to send observers

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will send monitors to the disputed border at Preah Vihear to assess the situation there. The sending of ASEAN monitors is seen as a compromise between Thailand’s and Cambodia’s differing stands on resolving the conflict; the former wants to resolve issues bilaterally while the latter is seeking the intervention of the UN. An unofficial ceasefire is currently in effect to prevent further bloodshed and damage to the ancient temple.

ASEAN to send monitors to Thai-Cambodia border
AP, via the San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 February 2011

Military observers will be sent to the Thai-Cambodian border to enforce an unofficial cease-fire in place since deadly clashes erupted near a disputed 11th century temple, Southeast Asian foreign ministers said Tuesday after emergency talks.

Each country has accused the other of starting the conflict in which at least eight people have been killed and thousands displaced, and both until now have disagreed on how it should be settled.

But Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said after a meeting with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations that both Cambodia and Thailand had agreed to a proposal to send up to 40 military and civilian observers to the remote, mountainous area.

The unarmed observers – all from Indonesia – will “observe the commitment by both sides to avoid further armed clashes” and provide accurate and impartial reports about complaints of violations, he told reporters after the 90-minute meeting in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

Read the full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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