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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen Calls for U.N. to Get Tough with Khmer Rouge

Hun Sen Calls for U.N. to Get Tough with Khmer Rouge

Hun Sen Calls for U.N. to Get Tough with Khmer Rouge

(AP) - The Khmer Rouge must be barred from Cambodia's elections and declared outlaws

if they do not rejoin the United Nations peace process by the end of the month, the

Phnom Penh regime said Jan.5.

Prime Minister Hun Sen condemned the guerrilla group for violating the Paris peace

accords and expanding territory at the expense of the State of Cambodia (SOC) and

the other factions that have cooperated and laid down their weapons.

"So far we have not found any measures to rescue the Paris agreement from collapse,"

the prime minister told reporters.

The comments came a day after Prince Norodom Sihanouk said he would no longer cooperate

with the U.N. peacekeeping operation in his country because of politically-motivated

violence there. Much of the violence has been blamed on Hun Sen's government.

The Khmer Rouge, which slaughtered Cambodians during its rule in the 1970s, has refused

to disarm, barred peacekeepers from its zones, and continues to clashe with SOC forces.

A three-page SOC statement yesterday said Khmer Rouge guerrillas were now positioned

to shell towns, and noted that they recently have taken U.N. peacekeepers hostage,

fired at U.N. posts, and forced U.N. voter registration teams to evacuate.

"If this situation is allowed to evolve in its present course, the upcoming

election will run into great difficulties, even to the point that no election can

be held at all," the statement said.

It urged the U.N. Security Council to stop the Khmer Rouge from expanding its territory.

If the U.N. Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) does not have this power,

its mandate must be broadened, the statement said.

Hun Sen said peacekeepers must have the authority to enter Khmer Rouge areas and

to stand up to-instead of run away from-their attacks.

"It is absolutely essential to set a deadline for the Khmer Rouge participation

in the election on Jan. 31," in line with a Security Council resolution, the

statement said.

"These elections will not be fair, and not in conformity with the letter and

spirit of the Paris agreements if the Khmer Rouge were allowed to participate at

the last minute, since their controlled zones have always stayed out of UNTAC's control

and supervision," it said.

The government demands that if the Khmer Rouge still refuses to cooperate by Jan.

31, it be "evicted from the peace process of the Paris agreements and be declared

insurgents and outlaws ..."

The Security Council resolution, which also imposed an oil embargo against Khmer

Rouge areas, warns of unspecified action if the Khmer Rouge does not meet the Jan.

31 deadline.

Hun Sen also said he was sceptical about Sihanouk's announcement from Beijing. "The

prince will never abandon the nation and people of Cambodia," he said.

Sihanouk had sent a letter on Jan. 4 to UNTAC chief Yasushi Akashi saying he was

no longer cooperating with the peacekeepers or the Phnom Penh government because

of violent attacks against members of the political party led by his son, Prince

Norodom Ranariddh.

Several days later, however, Sihanouk recommited himself to the peace process.

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