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Cambodian PM accuses Laos of border violation, mobilising troops says

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has accused neighbouring country Laos of sending troops into Cambodian territory in April 

11 August 2017, 8:21am
Prime Minister of Cambodia Hu Sen
Prime Minister of Cambodia Hu Sen
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has accused neighbouring country Laos of sending troops into Cambodian territory in April and set a deadline for 17 August for their departure, warning that he was mobilising troops in retaliation.

Cambodia and Laos are primary allies to northern neighbour country China, backing its "One Belt, One Road" drive to build regional infrastructure, but it is not clear how their dispute would affect the plans.

Speaking at a ceremony in the Cambodian capital, Hu Sen said that he had been in touch with the government in Laos about the troops who had crossed into the area. 

"I can no longer keep patience," Hun Sen added. "It's not right that we fight each other, but if they don't withdraw, we must do it ... We don't declare war, we just ask to get our own land back."

China could help resolve the dispute, said an official from a Cambodian think-tank, adding that he feared it might provoke clashes.

"China has influence on the two countries, and if they want to solve it, only China can help solve it," Ou Virak of the Future Forum think-tank said.

In another land dispute, Cambodia accuses neighbouring Vietnam of encroaching on its territory. The two sides met last year in Phnom Penh but the dispute remains unresolved.