“Indonesia delays sending observers”

 

The deployment of the Indonesian observers is on hold as the situation on the ground is peaceful, said Indonesian spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

Michael Tene said that the Indonesian observers are ready to be deployed to the area any time upon the consent and request from both Cambodia and Thailand.

“Actually, we’re waiting for the finalization from the two countries before we send our observers,” he said. “But it appears that the situation is quite good at the moment.”

In July this year, Cambodia and Thailand decided to withdraw their troops from the disputed area situated near the 11th century temple, Preah Vihear. Cambodia withdrew 500 of their troops while Thailand pulled back 400 of their troops as well.

The troops from both sides have exchanged sporadic fightings over the past few years, resulting in many deaths from both sides.

The withdrawal from both sides from the disputed area around the temple came one year after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that a demilitarized zone should be monitored by observers from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Tene added that the redeployment of the troops from both sides seemed to improve the situation on the ground.

The temple known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Khao Prah Viharn in Thailand, is located on the disputed land and has been the cause of tensions between Cambodia and Thailand for years.

The tension flared up when the UNESCO listed the temple as a World Heritage Site in 2008. Thailand claims the ownership of 4.6 square kilometres of land next to the temple.

The ICJ ruled in 1962 that the control of the ruins of the hindu temple belonged to Cambodia. However, both sides claimed ownership of the area that surrounds the temple.

Bin Bunna.

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