The UN’s International Court of Justice ruled on 11 November 2013 that the area around a flashpoint ancient temple on the Thai border belongs to Cambodia.
The International Court of Justice interpreted a 1962 ruling saying that “Cambodia had sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear temple”.
In 2012, 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.
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.
About Preah Vihear Temple
The Preah Vihear Temple is a Khmer Hindu temple situated atop a 525-meter cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains of Cambodia. The temple complex runs 800m along a north-south axis. It was built mainly during the 11th and 12th centuries during the reigns of the kings Suryavarman I (and Suryavarman II).
Ownership of the temple by Cambodia has been under dispute from neighbouring Thailand. In 1962 the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that it belonged to Cambodia.
The Preah Vihear temple was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008
Where: The Hague
When: 11 November 2013