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Uncertainty at home brings calm to the Thai–Cambodian border

Author: Nicole Jenne, European University Institute Domestic uncertainties in Thailand and Cambodia have hindered progress along the heavily militarised border and the Preah Vihear temple dispute. Between 2008 and 2011 the border around the ancient Khmer temple of Preah Vihear (Phra Viharn in Thai) was the site of repeated clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops. Open conflict was put on hold when Cambodia submitted the dispute to the International Court of Justice in 2011. More than two years later the Court confirmed Cambodia’s ownership over part of the disputed territory, leaving the adjacent area subject to bilateral negotiations. Months before the military took power in Bangkok in 2014, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen realised that he could no longer rely on a ‘red’, Thaksin-linked government holding power in Thailand.

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Domestic uncertainties in Thailand and Cambodia have hindered progress along the heavily militarised border and the Preah Vihear temple dispute. Between 2008 and 2011 the border around the ancient Khmer temple of Preah Vihear (Phra Viharn in Thai) was the site of repeated clashes between Thai and Cambodian troops.

Open conflict was put on hold when Cambodia submitted the dispute to the International Court of Justice in 2011. More than two years later the Court confirmed Cambodia’s ownership over part of the disputed territory, leaving the adjacent area subject to bilateral negotiations. Months before the military took power in Bangkok in 2014, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen realised that he could no longer rely on a ‘red’, Thaksin-linked government holding power in Thailand.

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Uncertainty at home brings calm to the Thai–Cambodian border

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