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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ranriddh warns of war

Ranriddh warns of war

On Saturday, July 5 Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent Nate Thayer spoke

to First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh, in France, by satellite phone from Siem

Reap. Excerpts from the Prince's comments:

T HIS is a real coup d'etat. Any pretext that they use to overthrow one Prime Minister

installed through UN organized elections, we must call that a coup d'etat.

I have told Hun Sen that I am always willing to talk, but he is not sincere. He says

I have hidden Khmer Rouge forces in the city, but it is a lie, just a pretext. They

have been preparing a coup for a long time. They were very well prepared.

Hun Sen says we are betraying the Constitution by talking to the Khmer Rouge, but

it is a pretext to launch a coup. Hun Sen will ask Funcinpec to surrender, but we

will never surrender. He wants to set up a so-called coalition government without

me. It is not acceptable. A lot of my soldiers will never accept it. It is clearly

a coup and must be condemned by the world community.

I think that there will be fighting everywhere. We have our forces everywhere in

the country and they will not surrender.

If it is a coup it must be complete in 48 hours or the resistance will be organized.

Already we are organizing the resistance. We cannot accept people to be killed. We

have many arms and our army is everywhere. We completely control parts of the country.

I will accept to talk. I will accept a ceasefire but it could not be a unilateral

ceasefire.

There is resistance to this coup d'etat. The world community should clearly say any

regime, so-called government installed by a coup, cannot be recognized by the international

community. It must not be.

I cannot return to Phnom Penh like this. Hun Sen will kill me. I will be arrested

but I will go back to my country. We do have some control areas. The real problem

is Thailand. I have asked my people to seek permission from Thailand.

Without the reaction of the world community strongly condemning this coup d'etat,

it will again be a very bloody civil war and more bloody than before because we have

forces everywhere. We cannot, we will not simply surrender. Hun Sen, he underestimated

our forces and overestimated his.

I want to tell you I am willing to go back, but not to Phnom Penh to be killed by

Hun Sen

Hun Sen did this because he knew he would lose the elections, and to avoid the condemnation

of the FBI for his involvement in the grenade attack and his involvement in drug

trafficking. He has no choice but to make the coup. It is the only way out for him.

But he is crazy. If you are stable psychologically, you do not do this. He is a very

dangerous, unstable man.

What I wanted to do with the Khmer Rouge through negotiations was to avoid the war,

to bring national reconciliation, but Hun Sen has taken this as a pretext to attack

us. Whether we have a military alliance with the Khmer Rouge or not, we have to watch

carefully what the Khmer Rouge will do. I am afraid we will have a partition of the

country. With or without me, my army, my generals will organize a resistance again

and again. My generals will not surrender. Hun Sen can have Prey Veng, Svay Rieng,

Kampong Cham, but it will be a much larger resistance than before, than the last

war.

It will now be a very bloody civil war, but for me it is nothing compared to the

continued suffering of all our people who want peace, peace, peace...

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