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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KR Robs UN Peace-Keepers

KR Robs UN Peace-Keepers

Two four-wheel drives and two hand-held radio sets belonging to an UNTAC team were

robbed by a group of NADK soldiers on Feb. 25 in Siem Reap.

The team was comprised of two United Nations Military Observers-one from Brunei

and the other from the Russian Federation-a Bangladeshi civilian policeman and a

Cambodian interpreter.

Eric Falt, the UNTAC spokesman said the incident occured at Nockor Peas, 30 km north-west

of Siem Reap, as the team was driving to the village to investigate an alleged cease

fire violation.

"[The U.N. peacekeepers] arrived for a pre-arranged meeting around noon and

were told by the NADK officers...that the NADK commander wanted to meet with them,"

said Falt. "They met with this gentleman who indicated that the team would be

allowed to leave if it relinquished its two vehicles and two hand-held radios,"

Falt explained.

It was reported that the peacekeepers were forced to depart the village leaving their

possessions to the NADK group. On the way back they were met by another team from

the sector's headquarters who drove them to the provincial town.

Falt said that an UNTAC team from the sector's headquarters was dispatched by helicopter

with an NADK liaison officer on board to try to resolve the situation.

"There is a disturbing pattern in all these incidents which involve the theft

of United Nations property. These vehicles are purchased with funds provided by the

international community at large and it is unacceptable that anybody, let alone a

faction that signed the Paris Peace accord would shamelessly exert undue pressure

on U.N. personnel through armed threats," added Falt, indirectly condemning

the Khmer Rouge and their activities. "The U.N. headquarters in New York will

be also fully informed of this disturbing pattern."

The whereabouts of the stolen vehicles is yet unknown. The UNMOs, civilian police

and interpreter survived the incident unscathed.

Asked whether UNTAC will re-possess the property, the UNTAC spokesman said, "Yes,

and that's why the matter is going to be brought up in no uncertain terms locally

with the NADK and in the context of the Mixed Military Working Group."

The first incident of this kind in the month of February took place in Preah Vihear

where a group of Khmer Rouge guerrillas demanded peacekeeper's vehicles.



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