O n May 15 the United Nations Military Liaison Team (MLT) will cease operations
after spending six months monitoring the security situation in Cambodia for UN
Until then the MLT's analysis team will continue to send
daily reports on Cambodia's security situation, as they have over the course of
They are also prepared for an extension or alteration of
The Royal Government has made a verbal request to the
United Nations Representative in Cambodia for a such an
Colonel Muniruzzaman, the Chief of the MLT said that both
Cambodia and the UN have benefited from the low-profile presence of the team,
though people have generally misunderstood its mission.
that we are a military observer team in the classical sense of being positioned
between warring parties and acting as a mediator. Our role has been a liaison
one and our job has been to monitor and report to the UN about security
developments in Cambodia."
"Our presence has also been an indication of
the continued importance of Cambodia to the member nations of the UN, and our
presence had a psychological input and contributed to confidence building in the
fragile environment of the post-election period," he added.
The team is
made up of twenty officers, eighteen of whom served in Cambodia during the
period of the Untac mandate. Colonel Muniruzzaman headed Untac's office in
Bangkok. In addition 15 local and international staff work in the MLT offices
which are located on the grounds of the old Untac headquarters by Wat Phnom.
"We served the UN as a neutral observer and credible reporter on
security related issues. We produced reports for consumption by the member
nations. We provided a degree of transparency that might not otherwise have been
Over the past five months the MLT has also visited camps run
by the Royal Government for Khmer Rouge defectors and provided some of the first
ground observers in Pailin after its fall to the Royal Armed Forces.
addition they have observed and exchanged professional views on the
reorganization of the Royal Navy and the integration of the factional elements
into the Royal Cambodia Army, Muniruzzaman said.
The MLT originated from
a request by the Royal Government for a continued military presence in the