Laos agrees to withdraw its troops

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A file photo of Cambodian troops preparing to test fire a rocket launcher. Reuters

Laos has agreed to withdraw its troops from a disputed border area in Stung Treng province in Cambodia after Prime Minister Hun Sen flew to Vientiane and held talks with his Lao counterpart on Saturday morning.

Laos promised to withdraw its troops by Sunday, he said.

On Friday, Mr Hun Sen ordered many troops and their commanders to go to the area in dispute, and also ordered the deployment of BМ-21s, or truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers.

He said that about 30 Lao soldiers had crossed the border into Cambodia at the O’Tangav and nearby O’Alay areas in Stung Treng province.

Prime Minister Hun Sen sent BM-21 trucks to Stung Treng. Supplied

The prime minister gave the Lao troops a deadline of six days to leave Cambodia. After issuing his orders, many military trucks carrying troops as well as the truck-mounted rocket launchers left from their bases in Phnom Penh and other provinces to go to the area.

At a press conference in the Lao capital, which was broadcast live on Mr Hun Sen’s Facebook page, Laos’ Prime Minister said both sides had discussed the problem with honesty and friendship.

“My Lao counterpart will withdraw all troops,” Mr Hun Sen said.

Mr Hun Sen said he had already ordered all Cambodia forces which moved to Stung Treng province to go back to their bases, adding that the outcome of the discussion was good for both countries, its armed forces and citizens.

Supplied

He added that the remaining border issues will be addressed by the joint committee of both countries until it is resolved.

The prime minister also confirmed that he had talked with the Lao prime minister twice via the social media Line.

He called for people along the border to stay calm and added that there would be no conflict between the two countries.

General Kun Kim, the deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said he had already ordered all forces to return to their bases.

“I will fly to check the disputed area and check the withdrawal of Lao troops,” he said, adding that a clash had been avoided thanks to Mr Hun Sen, who remained patient and negotiated with his Lao counterpart.

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