What’s Next After the New Cambodia-Laos Border Tensions?

A recent incident has once again reinforced the border management challenges that remain for the two countries.

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Cambodia and Laos had reached agreement for both sides to withdraw troops from an undemarcated border area that had seen tensions over the past few weeks. The development highlighted the continuing discussion over what has prompted the new round of border tensions and how both sides will look to manage this in the coming weeks and months.

As I have observed before in these pages, Laos and Cambodia, two neighboring Southeast Asian states, share a 540-kilometer, partly demarcated land border, which has been a source of occasional disputes and differences between them over the years that has at times boiled over into conflict. Of particular note was a period of tensions in August 2017, when both leaders had to intervene to ensure de-escalation ensued.

Since then, while the military personnel and civilian leaderships of both sides have continued to hold exchanges and meetings to work through issues such as border surveys and remaining demarcation as well as address common security challenges such as cross-border crimes, misunderstandings and low-level tensions have still continued to simmer.

In full: https://thediplomat.com/2019/08/whats-next-after-the-new-cambodia-laos-border-tensions/

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