A USTRALIA'S Chief of General Staff, John Sanderson, is to visit Cambodia in
October for the first time since he ended his mission as commander of a
15,000-strong UN peacekeeping force two years ago.
Sanderson will be
preceded by his boss, Chief of Defence Forces General John Baker, who will be
here from Sept 12 to 14.
Sanderson and Baker have only recently be
appointed to the top positions in Australian defence and are visiting Cambodia
as part of routine familiarization to countries with which Canberra has military
They are expected to meet their Cambodian counterparts, visit
cooperation projects and pay courtesy visits on political leaders. Sanderson is
likely to visit in early October.
The Australian armed forces provide
Cambodia with non-lethal military aid, including training in telecommunications
and mine clearing and naval maintenance.
Sanderson arrived in Cambodia in
March 1992 as head of the military wing of the UN Transitional Authority in
Cambodia (UNTAC), which brought together more than 15,000 soldiers from more
than 30 countries at the height of its mandate.
The soldiers were sent to
demobilize troops of rival Cambodian factions following the signing of the 1991
peace accords, but when the Khmer Rouge reneged on it, they ended up providing
security for elections in 1993.
The polls were a success in terms of
turnout and ultimately led to the establishment of the present coalition