Cambodian PM accuses Laos of border violation, mobilizing troops

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Agosto 12, 2017

Cambodian soldiers sit on an army vehicle as they move to Cambodia-Laos borders, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Friday.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen accused neighboring Laos on Friday of sending troops into Cambodian land in April and said they must leave by an August 17 deadline and that he was mobilizing soldiers to the border area.

Choung Chougy, Sok's lawyer, said the court's decision was unjust, adding that his client had submitted requests to Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is the plaintiff in the case, to appear in court, which had been ignored. If Thongloun does not want to meet him, he should withdraw his soldiers, Hun Sen said.

"I've ordered the authorities involved to withdraw troops from that area by tomorrow morning", Thongloun said.

Hun Sen said he had talked over the phone in recent months with the Laotian prime minister and recently sent him a letter but hadn't received an official reply.

"Anyway, the discussion today was frank and friendly, so that the area would not lead to forces being confrontational", he said.

Hun Sen said he had also ordered truck-mounted rocket launchers and ground troops to pull back in response to Laos' agreement to withdraw.

Cambodia's last major border disputes were with Thailand from 2008 to 2011, and were widely seen as benefiting Hun Sen politically, as he was able to portray himself as a nationalist protector of the country's territory.

"Moments ago, I already ordered all troops that were mobilised yesterday to go back to their positions".

Calls and emails to the Lao Embassy in Phnom Penh were not returned Friday.

Cambodia and Laos share a 540-kilometre (335-mile) land border but large tracts have not been officially demarcated, leading to territorial squabbles.

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