While the final version of the supplemental border treaty signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen in Vietnam on Oct 11 remains cloaked in secrecy, Voice of America posted what it said was a draft of the agreement on its Web site on Thursday.
In the draft, only land border issues are discussed, while water boundaries and Koh Tral island, which border activists have seized on as an issue, are not mentioned.
Var Kimhong, the chairman of the government’s border committee, said Friday that he could not confirm the authenticity of the VOA document which he had not seen. When it was described to him, however, he said it sounded correct.
The first article of the six-article draft clearly states that a 1985 treaty between Vietnam and Cambodia is the starting point for the resolution of border issues.
The undated draft then details the exact boundary at five locations and specifies that a remaining area in Mondolkiri province will need further discussion.
The resolved areas are in Taveng Krom commune in Ratanakkiri province’s Taveng district; in Nhang Commune, Andong Meas district, in the same province; in Sre Huy commune, Koh Nhek distict, Mondolkiri province; in Ka’am Samnor commune, Leuk Dek district and Prek Chrey commune, Koh Thom district of Kandal province, and in Prek Chrey commune and Sampov Oun commune in Koh Thom.
The unresolved area is the border in Dak Dam commune in Mondolkiri’s O’Reang district.
Var Kimhong confirmed that the agreement was only made on six points, while the seventh, Dak Dam needed further negotiation.
In a report to the Council of Ministers on Aug 6, also posted Thursday on the Web by VOA, Var Kimhong refers to a seventh location in Kandal province that may or may not be the remaining one addressed in the final treaty. Var Kimhong told the Council that the Dak Dam issue revolves around whether the Dak Hout river or the Dak Dam river constitutes the border.
Opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay said the final version of the treaty must be made public. “We cannot say that we lost the land or gained the land,” he said. “We will find out if there is a public debate in the Assembly and the debate is technical and not political.”