Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Split formalized as KR declare 'govt'

Split formalized as KR declare 'govt'

Split formalized as KR declare 'govt'

T HE Khmer Rouge announced on July 10 that they have created a parallel

government, formalizing the partition of Cambodia.

The move was seen as a

direct response to the National Assembly adopting legislation outlawing the

guerrilla organization.

But analysts say that the creation of a parallel

government will have little effect on the ground, although it marks a final

failure of the series of peace negotiations in recent months and the promise of

the Paris Peace Agreements to achieve national reconciliation.

Analysts

say that there will likely be a concomitant increase in fighting. They say that

the door has now been shut for the immediate future for peace talks, and the

Khmer Rouge must demonstrate their leverage on the battlefield to force the

government back to the table.

The Khmer Rouge, according to sources close

to the faction, seek the collapse of the current government and want to replace

it with a national unity government, in which they are included and the King is

given broad powers.

But the announcement of the formation of the

Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia

(PGNUNSC) holds few surprises. It is comprised of united front personalities,

mainly intellectuals, who were announced as founding members of the Great

National Union Party in December 1992. The personalities all served in

diplomatic and political posts during the 15 years since the Khmer Rouge were

driven from power. Analysts however agree that the real powers in the

organization remain Pol Pot and a small group of party leaders who have led the

organization since their years in power.

The most intriguing aspect of

the composition of the "government" is the absence of some key personalities,

most notably former Minister of National Defense Son Sen.

Son Sen was

listed as Vice President of the Great National Union Party in 1992, but has

disappeared from public events since June 1993, when he was reported to have

lost a power struggle within the leadership. The struggle was over Son Sen's

stance that the Khmer Rouge should comply with the UN phase two process, in

which the four factions were to demobilize, disarm, and canton their armed

forces.

There is no mention of Son Sen in the new provisional government,

and analysts say it is firm evidence that he has been purged.

The

composition of the PGNUNSC is as follows:

 

  • Khieu Samphan: Prime Minister and Minister of National Army
  • Chan Youran: Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of the defense of the

    national culture, literature and customs.

  • Mak Ben: Minister in charge of rural areas, agriculture and water

    conservancy.

  • In Sopheap: Minister of Immigration dealing with problems of Vietnamese

    immigrants in Cambodia

  • Kor Bun Heng: Minister in charge of the "situation and labor in Phnom Penh

    and the cities".

  • Pich Chheang: Deputy Minister of the National Army
  • Chouen Choeun: Special advisor to the Prime Minister on the people's health

    and sanitation

The announcement said that "the PGNUNSC is open to all patriotic

personalities who support and agree to implement" their political objectives,

which were defined vaguely as national reconciliation, peace, and stressed

anti-Vietnamese rhetoric.

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