The U.N.’s top court ruled on Monday that the area around a flashpoint ancient temple on the Thai border belongs to Cambodia and that any Thai security forces should leave.
The International Court of Justice interpreted a 1962 ruling saying that “Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear,” Judge Peter Tomka said.
At least 28 people have been killed in outbreaks of violence since 2011 over the ownership of the patch of land next to the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple.
Last year, the ICJ ruled that both countries should withdraw forces from around the ancient Khmer temple, which is perched on a clifftop in Cambodia but is more easily accessed from the Thai side. Thailand does not dispute Cambodia’s ownership of the temple, a Unesco World Heritage site, but both sides laid claim to an adjacent 4.6-square-km piece of land.