UN urges Thai-Cambodia ceasefireApril 24th, 2011 - 11:36 pm ICT by BNO News
UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thailand and Cambodia to declare a ceasefire as clashes continue for the third day.
“The Secretary-General is troubled by reports of renewed fighting in the past two days between Cambodian and Thai troops along the two countries’ common border, which has reportedly claimed numerous lives from both sides,” Martin Nesirky, spokesperson for the Secretary-General, said.
The Secretary-General added that he believes that the dispute cannot be resolved by military means and urged both sides to engage in talks.
“He had been encouraged by the initial signs of progress in regional efforts to strengthen bilateral mechanisms for dealing with the dispute between the two neighbours,” Nesirky added.
The Bangkok Post reported Sunday that up to 10 soldiers form both sides have been killed since Friday, the first clashes since February. Three Thai soldiers were killed and 13 others injured, while another Thai soldier was killed on Saturday. Cambodia says it has lost six troops since the border conflict erupted.
Residents in the area had begun to evacuate after artillery rounds landed on the village. On Saturday, Cambodia accused Thailand of using chemical weapons against Cambodian troops in the fighting, but Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya denied the claims and called on Cambodia to enter talks.
Early last month, representatives from both sides agreed to meet again at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 25 May to discuss ways to safeguard the Preah Vihear temple, which was damaged in previous border clashes.
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 Hindu temple. The border conflict has damaged the temple which dates back to the 11th century and is located on the Cambodian side of the border. UNESCO sent a mission to asses the situation.
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- Thai-Cambodian border clashes resume after 'ceasefire' - Feb 07, 2011
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