Hun Sen Asks France, UK, US for Border Maps

Prime Minister Hun Sen has written to French President Francois Hollande, U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron to ask them to provide maps of Cambodia’s borders and experts to confirm that the government has demarcated the border legally.

Since June, the opposition CNRP has led a campaign to highlight alleged Vietnamese encroachments into Cambodia while also accusing the government of not following the map that the Constitution says is the only legal one for use when demarcating the frontier.

Mr. Hun Sen on Wednesday asked for help in securing copies of the map to prove that the government was using the correct one.

“As France was the producer of the map, producing the 1:100,000-scale ‘Bonne’ map…on the land border between Cambodia and neighboring countries, especially with Vietnam, I ask Your Excellency to provide copies of this map,” the prime minister wrote to Mr. Hollande.

He also requested that Mr. Hollande provide “a group of map specialists” to verify that the map is the same as the one Cambodia and Vietnam use to delineate the border.

Similar letters were sent to Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron, but with Mr. Hun Sen asking them only to provide the maps after noting that both leaders’ countries were present during the 1964 peace talks that dealt with the map.

While the government has refused to release copies of the maps it uses for demarcation purposes, Mr. Hun Sen on July 6 asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide a copy of the map that Cambodia lodged with the U.N. in 1964, which he said would show that the government was using the correct map.

Almost two weeks later, Mr. Ban has yet to reply to Mr. Hun Sen, though spokespeople for the U.N. secretary-general have said that he is looking into Mr. Hun Sen’s request.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy and a slew of CNRP lawmakers have claimed that the government may be refusing to release its maps because they are not those mandated by the Constitution, but rather maps drawn by Vietnam.

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