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Son Sann asks neighbors to help

F ormer guerrilla leader Son Sann has asked a "neighboring country" to stop

helping guerilla fighters and show charity to refugees fleeing recent fighting

between Cambodia's government and Khmer Rouge rebels.

In a thinly-veiled

reference to Thailand, the veteran politician appealed to "countries friendly to

Cambodia and the Cambodian people so that they might contribute to stop the

suffering of the Cambodian people so that they might contribute to stop the

suffering of the Cambodian people and not to protract this

misfortune."

Sources close to Son Sann, the leader of the Buddhist

Liberal Democratic Party, said the appeal was directed at neighboring

Thailand.

His statement, dated Jan. 6 but received by Reuters on Jan. 10,

asked friendly countries to "abstain absolutely from aiding the billigerents

with arms, ammunition-which risks prolonging the fighting and suffering of the

Khmer people."

Last week Cambodian army commanders and U.N. officials

accused Thailand of giving Khmer Rough guerillas sanctuary from which to launch

a hit-and-run raid on six villages in the northwest district of

Ampil.

French-educated Son Sann, 83, a prime minister in the Sihanouk era

of the 1960s and leader of the non-communist guerrilla faction once allied to

the Khmer Rouge, now heads the BLDP, a minority partner in the coalition

government.

Son Sann deplored the recent upsurge in fighting between

government forces and the Maoist-inspired insurgents.

"The fighting

between government forces and those of Democratic Kampuchea (the Khmer Rouge) is

detrimental to the Cambodian people.

"Many (people) are seeking refuge in

a neighboring country but most often they are driven back towards Cambodia,"

said Son Sann.

With the onset of the dry season, clashes have increased

between the Cambodian government forces and Khmer rouge revels fighting to

reinforce their demands for an advisory role in the

government.

Negotiations between the two sides have stalled over the

Khmer Rouge's refusal to accept any conditions for peace talks.

Cambodian

Prime Ministers Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Hun Sen have demanded that the

Khmer Rouge first declare a cease-fire and open up its zones of control as a

first step towards national reconciliation.

 

- Reuters

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