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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN: No on sanctions yes on Logging Ban

UN: No on sanctions yes on Logging Ban

Cambodia's faltering peace process has entered a dangerous period after the U.N.

Secretary-Council stopped short of requiring economic sanctions against the Khmer


Instead, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali urged the U.N. Security Council

to impose "a series of measures aimed at securing greater cooperation and compliance

from the PDK [Khmer Rouge]."

The move comes on the heels of failed talks in Beijing in early November, with the

Khmer Rouge leadership now regrouping in their headquarters in Pailin and the State

of Cambodia warning that they are preparing for the possibility of conflict in the

coming dry season.

Senior UNTAC and diplomatic sources in Phnom Penh say that they are bracing for the

possibility of an outbreak of fighting in coming weeks. They confirm there is an

increase in resupply of ammunition and troop movements by both the Hun Sen regime

and the Khmer Rouge. The Paris agreement strictly prohibits new deployments of troops,

weapons, or ammunition within the country.

UNTAC has warned its personnel, in memos circulated to the

peacekeepers in the field, to be prepared for a possible resumption of

hostilities from now on. In his recomendations to the Security Council, Secretary-General

Boutros Boutros-Ghali warned the factions that the Khmer Rouge intransigence should

not be used as an excuse by the other factions to step up military activity.

A senior western diplomat in Phnom Penh said that by not specifically calling for

economic sanctions, Boutros-Ghali's recommendation "is designe to keep the door

open for the Khmer Rouge because it is not yet a hopeless situation."

But while the Secretary-General's message did not call specifically for sanctions-which

the Khmer Rouge have said would be "tantamount to war"-senior diplomatic

and U.N. sources say UNTAC will begin to enforce a total logging export ban on Cambodia

which goes into effect on Dec. 31.

This move is designed to cut off crucial funds the Khmer Rouge receive through logging

exports to Thailand.

The logging ban was passed by the Supreme National Council (SNC) in September, after

UNTAC chief Yasushi Akashi overruled Khmer Rouge objections to the ban. A senior

perm five diplomat in Phnom Penh said that UNTAC might urge the SNC to impose a similar

ban on gem exports, another major source of Khmer Rouge income.

The Post has learned that officials of the Hun Sen regime have requested new military

aid from some countries in recent months, arguing that the Khmer Rouge pose a new

threat and they must have new supplies to defend themselves. One of the countries,

Vietnam, officially refused the request, according to sources.

U.N. and diplomatic sources in Phnom Penh say that the U.N. Security Council will

likely have to rewrite the mandate of the United Nations to deploy troops to protect

elections, which the U.N. insists will go ahead as scheduled in May, 1993.

They say that now that the key provisions of the peace plan, which required that

the factions disarm, demobilize, and canton their troops under U.N. control, will

be effectively abandoned, UNTAC military units likely will be redeployed to protect

the election process.

UNTAC sources say that 81 percent of the eligible voters in Cambodia are in "safe

areas" they define as currently free from Khmer Rouge control or under major

military threat.

Boutros-Ghali, in excerpts of a seven page draft of recommendations to the Security

Council seen by the Post, said: "The party of DemocraticKampuchea has clear-ly

demonstrated that it is unlikely to change its attitude of non cooperation in the

foreseeable future.

"Under the circumstances, I recommend that the Security Council consider the

adoption of a series of measures aimed at securing greater cooperation and compliance

from the PDK.''

But in clear reference to increased rhetoric by the State of Cambodia, the Secretary-General

warned that "the argument that the non-compliance of one party relieves any

other party of the obligations it assumed in signing the Paris agreements is unacceptable."

With the urging of Phnom Penh-based diplomats and UNTAC officials, Boutros-Ghali

reaffirmed UNTAC's commitment to holding elections on schedule but added, "The

atmosphere essential to the holding of the. . .elections does not yet exist.''



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