Disputed Preah Vihear Land Is Cambodian, Court Rules

Thailand and Cambodia welcome the verdict as a step toward peace in the region

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TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP / Getty Images

Cambodian Buddhist monks walk at Preah Vihear temple near the Cambodia-Thailand border on Nov. 12, 2013

The U.N.’s highest court handed down its verdict on a land dispute between Thailand and Cambodia on Monday, ruling that most of the Preah Vihear area bordering the two nations belongs to Cambodia. Both countries welcomed the ruling, the BBC reports.

In 1962, the International Court of Justice ruled that an ancient Hindu temple in the province was Cambodian. But both countries continued to lay claim to the surrounding land, which led to frequent clashes in recent years. In 2011, fighting in the region left some 20 people dead and thousands of others displaced.

On Monday, a panel of judges awarded Cambodia sovereignty over the province, with the exception of a hill known as Pheu Makhua, which the court said it had no jurisdiction to rule on.

[BBC]

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