In a pair of meetings held yesterday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An urged ambassadors from the EU and Japan to consider upping their donations to the national side of the cash-strapped Khmer Rouge tribunal, warning that a failure to do so could lead to an implosion of the current court.
Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Council of Ministers spokesman Ek Tha said that a strike threat remained from the Cambodian staff of the court – who have not been paid since November – and warned that should the Cambodian staff walk, the UN side would be unable to work and would have to pull out as well.
“If the UN side walks out, then Cambodian staff will replace them. This is the last resort, and the court has to complete its mission in finding justice for the people,” Tha quoted Sok An as saying to EU Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain.
The sentiment was echoed in a second meeting with outgoing Japanese Ambassador Masafumi Kuroki, said Tha.
In an email, Cautain said the EU last year donated 1.3 million euros ($1.8 million) to aid national side expenditures from August 2012 to October 2013, making it the biggest national-side donor after Japan.
“The outstanding amount, i.e. 300,000 EUR, will be disbursed once the contractual obligations in place are fully met,” he wrote, though he did not specify which obligations had not yet been satisfied.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at firstname.lastname@example.org
With assistance from Abby Seiff