Thailand and Cambodia agree to ceasefireApril 28th, 2011 - 7:29 pm ICT by BNO News
BANGKOK, THAILAND (BNO NEWS) — The governments of Thailand and Cambodia on Thursday agreed to a ceasefire almost a week after they their border clashes begun, officials said.
Thai national army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha told the Bangkok Post that after strong fire was exchanged Thursday morning between both sides near Chong Chom pass in Surin province, Cambodian deputy army chief Hun Manet and Lt. General Chea Mon sent their representatives to negotiate with Thai soldiers for a ceasefire.
General Prayuth explained that if there were no more fighting during the afternoon, Friday or Saturday, Lt. General Tawatchai Samutsakhon, the 2nd Army commander, would meet and hold talks with Lt. General Chea Mon, Cambodia’s 5th Army Region commander.
According to reports, Cambodian forces suffered heavy casualties after the morning’s clashes.
Prayuth also expressed concern regarding the safety of Thai villages in the area, although the majority had been evacuated beforehand, and even though the army chief hoped for no more clashes, he noted that if Cambodian forces opened fire again, Thai troops would respond to prevent them from entering the territory.
Since Friday, both countries have clashed in their border regions, as both Cambodia and Thailand claim the 4.6 square kilometer area near the ancient Preah Vihear temple on their shared border, which has never been formally established. Cambodia requested Indonesian observers to mediate in the conflict but Thailand denied.
On Monday, clashes erupted near the Ta Muen Thom temple in Thailand’s eastern Surin province, causing about 25,000 residents to evacuate the area, and on Tuesday, fighting spread near the Preah Vihear temple, which is around 160 kilometers (100 miles) east of the Ta Krabey temple.
Tensions first escalated between the two countries in July 2008 following the build-up of military forces near the Preah Vihear temple. The United Nations Security Council urged both sides to establish a permanent ceasefire after at least 10 people were killed.
Clashes resumed in February as both nations claim the lands surrounding the ancient Hindu Temple, which has been damaged due to the conflict. The Preah Vihear temple dates back to the 11th century and is located on the Cambodian side of the border.
In 2008, it was inscribed on the World Heritage List in recognition of its outstanding universal value. It is considered an outstanding example of Khmer architecture and consists of a complex of sanctuaries linked by pavements and staircases on an 800-metre-long axis.
Thailand and Cambodia are scheduled to meet in next month’s ASEAN summit, which is scheduled to take place in Indonesia. In addition, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya also has an appointment to meet with ASEAN chairman Marty Natalegawa on Thursday.
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- Thailand-Cambodia border crossings reopen - May 04, 2011
- Cambodian, Thai soldiers again exchange gunfire on Saturday - Apr 30, 2011
- One Thai soldier killed in new clash along Thai-Cambodian border - Apr 22, 2011
- Thai PM says Cambodian troops must leave border to solve dispute - May 08, 2011
- At least 1,500 Cambodian troops leave disputed border with Thailand - Sep 01, 2011
- Thailand, Cambodia to hold border talks - Aug 12, 2011
- Cambodia and Thailand agree to remove troops from disputed border - Sep 16, 2011
- Thai-Cambodian border clashes resume after 'ceasefire' - Feb 07, 2011
- UN chief calls on Cambodia, Thailand for ceasefire - Apr 25, 2011
- Cambodia favours ceasefire with Thailand under ASEAN aegis - Feb 17, 2011
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