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
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.