Defense Minister, Army Chief witness police deployment in disputed area near Preah Vihear

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SI SA KET, 18 July 2012  – The Defense Minister and the Army Chief have witnessed the police deployment in the 4.6-square kilometer disputed area at the Thai-Cambodian border. 

Defense Minister Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat, Army Commander-in-Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, Chief of the Defense Ministry’s Office of Policy and Planning General Nipat Thonglek, and other high-ranking military officials today traveled to Kantharalak District, Si Sa Ket Province.

The officials listened to security reports in the disputed area, followed by a ceremony to deploy police officers replacing military forces in compliance with the order of the International Court of Justice, which wanted the disputed area to be a de-militarized zone.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last year ordered withdrawals of both Thai and Cambodian troops from the 4.6-square kilometer area around the Preah Vihear Temple until it could finalize the ownership of the area.

Meanwhile, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Tea Banh today presided over the withdrawal of 485 Cambodian soldiers from the Preah Vihear area. The troops have been replaced by 350 police officers, in a reciprocal arrangement.