Cambodia, Vietnam to investigate border tensions

Cambodian politician allegedly attacked during trip to border marker by group of Vietnamese who lay claim to disputed land

Cambodia, Vietnam to investigate border tensions

By Lauren Crothers


Border tensions between Vietnam and Cambodia are set to be investigated by a bilateral body, it was reported Saturday.

The body was established in the wake of a skirmish involving a member of parliament, who was visiting the site of a border marker that is in dispute and falls into a plot of land that has yet to be fully demarcated.

During the trip, Real Camerin - with the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) - was allegedly attacked by a group of Vietnamese, who lay claim to the disputed land.

In its report Saturday, the Cambodia Daily cited a Foreign Ministry statement issued Thursday, which announced the establishment of a “Joint Working Group tasked with further examination and clarification of the incident… as requested.”

The CNRP was set up by long-time opposition politician Sam Rainsy, who himself went into self-enforced exile for four years over his role in the removal of a border marker near Vietnam, for which he was sentenced to an 11-year prison term in absentia.

The focus on supposed border encroachment has gone on to be a topic of focus by the CNRP since its birth after his return from exile in 2013.

Camerin’s border trip also came about a month after another CNRP lawmaker, Mao Monyvann, led a separate mission to the border with Vietnam to highlight another dispute over where the demarcation lines carve up the two countries.

During that trip, members of a local Cham Muslim community scuffled with Vietnamese border guards, although there were no reported injuries.

Contacted by Anadolu Agency on Saturday, CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann referred questions to fellow lawmakers Hong Sok Hour and Mao Monyvann, whom he said were focused on solving the border issues.

Neither Sok Hour nor Monyvann could be reached by Anadolu Agency.

In the Daily report, however, Camerin said the findings of the group would “not be acceptable” because of the hold Hanoi allegedly has over the Cambodian government.

He said accurate findings could only be achieved if two working groups are set up and then notes are compared.

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