VOA Posts Draft of Border Treaty on Internet

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.”


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