State of Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen called for nominal Khmer Rouge leader Khieu
Samphan to be tried for genocide following a spate of massacres of Vietnamese settlers.
"I suggested that Mr. Khieu Samphan be arrested and prosecuted for the crime
of genocide because he does not enjoy immunity when it comes to the crime of genocide,"
Hun Sen said after a meeting of Cambodia's Supreme National Council (SNC) in Phnom
Penh on Apr. 4.
"I think all these crimes fall into the categories defined in the U.N. convention
on prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide," he said, referring to
the Khmer Rouge's stated policy of racial cleansing and an attack in Kompong Thom
which left 29 Cambodian civilians dead and 30 others wounded.
"He is the boss. He has given orders to his soldiers to commit these crimes,"
Hun Sen said.
He said it would be impossible to go ahead [with the elections] if no action is taken
to halt the "Khmer Rouge's killing of Cambodian people."
He expressed concern about security for the May general election and called on the
United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) to clarify SOC's right
to military response in the face of attack by the Khmer Rouge.
"Must we withdraw or fight back? Because if we fight back we will be accused
of equally violating of the Paris agreement. But, if we withdraw it means that we
abandon the people who will take part in the elections," Hun Sen said.
The Khmer Rouge has been blamed for the massacre of more than 40 Vietnamese fishing
villagers over the past three weeks. It was also held responsible for two separate
attacks on U.N. peace-keepers which resulted in the death of one Bangladeshi in Siem
Reap and three Bulgarians in Kompong Speu province.