Though the violence has dissipated, political space in Cambodia remains highly combative and precarious 20 years after the Paris Peace Agreements were struck in 1991.
Speaking yesterday to mark the anniversary of the accords, Sam Rainsy, the self-exiled leader of his eponymous opposition party who faces more than a decade in jail terms for offences related to border disputes and defamation, said the now dominant Cambodia People’s Party had killed the spirit of the agreements.
Via video link from Paris, Sam Rainsy urged his supporters to uproot the more than 300 demarcation posts along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border, claiming they contravened the territorial sovereignty guaranteed by the accords.
The UN’s Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia, Surya Subedi said the accords “started the process of bringing peace to Cambodia after two decades of conflict”.
The accords ushered in the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia and the still contentious 1993 UN-monitored elections.
Senior CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the “anniversary is the day that the CPP made a sacrifice for the nation and united all Cambodians who had been split into many groups into one Khmer [nation]”.