Cambodians OK new step toward peace
PATTAYA, Thailand Cambodia's warring factions moved another step toward peace Monday when they signed an agreement under which they would stop receiving foreign arms.
The accord also put in formal wording a truce declared Sunday between the Vietnam-installed government in Phnom Penh and the three guerrilla groups.
Despite the moves, the quest for a lasting end to the 12-year-old civil war faced major obstacles. Previous cease-fires have fallen apart, and the new pact left unresolved such issues as how to halt the combat and disarm the fighters.
"The declaration is one thing. The implementation is another," cautioned Prince Norodom Ranariddh, son of the resistance leader, Prince Norodom Sihanouk.
The 12 members of the Supreme National Council, from the Cambodian government and guerrilla factions, signed the five-point pact on the first day of talks at this beach resort near Bangkok. The national council seeks to implement a United Nations Security Council peace plan drafted late last year. The talks have been mired by bickering over the role of the world body and other issues.
Under the peace plan as drafted, the UN would be extensively involved in Cambodia's administration and military affairs before elections.
The rebels have accepted the plan, but the Cambodian government has rejected demobilization before elections are held and is demanding measures to prevent any takeover attempt by Communist Khmer Rouge rebels.
Sihanouk denounced Prime Minister Hun Sen's reservations about the peace proposal. Sihanouk said a UN representative told him the UN Security Council would not monitor the truce or other agreements unless the entire plan was accepted.
"Sihanouk is putting the squeeze on Hun Sen," one diplomat said, on condition of anonymity. "He knows that Hun Sen knows you cannot have a cease-fire and cessation of arms without the UN plan."
The Supreme National Council said Monday it would "implement the unlimited cease-fire and undertake to stop receiving foreign military aid as from 24th June, 1991." Sihanouk is to direct future meetings of the council and lead a delegation to the UN.