Illustrative Image (Source :internet)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Laos have recently finished increasing and upgrading border markers along their shared boundaries, an achievement attributed to Vietnam People’s Army forces. 

The two countries share a border of over 2,337km that runs across 10 Vietnamese provinces and 10 Lao ones. 

They signed a number of important legal documents on border and territory, including a treaty on delimitation of national boundaries in July 1977, which serves as a political and legal foundation for the settlement of border-related issues. 

To build a regular, modern marker system that meets their respective conditions and border protection demands, the neighbours launched a project to increase and upgrade border markers in 2008. 

In May 2008, the Ministry of National Defence issued a directive on the project’s implementation. 

Its steering board for the border demarcation and marker planting foresaw challenges such as underdeveloped infrastructure, inaccessible locations and unexploded ordnances (UXO) in border areas. 

Lieutenant Colonel Phan Thanh Hong, head of marker planting team No. 2 in the central province of Nghe An province, said his team was responsible for 39 markers along the 155 km border between Nghe An and Laos’ Bolykhamsay province. 

The border areas there have complex terrain and a harsh climate. Most of the border markers are located in remote places. Border residents’ living standards are also low, affecting the pace of the marker planting in the field, he noted. 

Braving those challenges, the team worked with its Lao counterparts to complete the planting of all 39 border markers and seven stakes, Hong added. 

The steering board said the project attracted great attention from the countries’ leaders and support from border communities. It was carried out with close coordination among ministries, sectors and localities. 

To address difficulties, the board closely liaised with the Foreign Ministry’s National Border Committee and relevant agencies to seek ways to solve emerging issues. 

Border guards worked closely with local UXO clearance forces to ensure the progress and safety of the project’s implementation. Training was also provided for marker planting teams, the board added. 

During almost eight years, the bordering Vietnamese and Lao provinces completed the field planting of border markers with 834 markers at 792 positions and 168 stakes at 113 positions. 

The two sides also negotiated and finalised a draft protocol on the border and markers, along with attached documents so as to recognise the outcomes of the border demarcation, and marker increases and upgrades.-VNA