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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 12 February 1993

The Gecko: 12 February 1993

The Gecko has heard a few interesting stories about CivPol that seem to represent

at least one aspect of why the U.N.'s unprecedented peacekeeping undertaking is having

it's full share of difficulties.

In Kampot, there were two U.N. civilian police cruising about in their jeep who just

happened to come across some armed Khmer Rouge soldiers. They immediately called

in a report that they were under attack, cowering on the floor as they radioed for

help.

Several military observers came to the rescue and, recognizing the KR in question

with whom they'd most likely been in regular contact for months, approached them

with a handshake and a "How's it going? What seems to be the problem here?"

The KR replied, "We wanted to register to vote but these guys don't seem to

be able to help us much."

In Kampong Cham province, a FUNCINPEC member was killed recently and CivPol showed

up to conduct an investigation of the incident. A foreign journalist happened to

show up at the scene of the crime and after the U.N. police made their inquiry, the

journalist started asking the bereaved widow some questions of her own. One of her

first was, "Did you see anyone?" which was overheard by the CivPol who

said "Hey, that's a good question."

Finally, the Gecko heard that there are a whole bunch of repatriated refugees from

Sight 8 camping out in the major Wat in Kompong Thom city. They were turned over

to CivPol by UNHCR authorities in Siem Reap who then escorted them to the Siem Reap/Kompong

Thom border on Rt. 6 and said they couldn't go any further because the road wasn't

safe. CivPol left them on the road to fend for themselves where they had to scrape

together some cash to hitch a ride on a taxi to Kompong Thom city. Homeless and scared,

they ended up in the Wat with nowhere to go. They say UNTAC comes by every few days

to give them some rice. That's not what the Gecko calls a warm welcome home.

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