Approval of peace plan for Cambodia meets obstacle

December 24, 1990|By New York Times News Service

PARIS -- Cambodia's four warring factions approved yesterday most of the proposals of a detailed United Nations peace plan, including provisions for a cease-fire and free elections.

But at the end of a two-day meeting here, overall approval of the plan was snagged by a dispute over proposals to demobilize and disarm the Cambodian national army and the three guerrilla groups seeking to topple the government in Phnom Penh.

Diplomats at the talks said that the government of Premier Hun Sen feared that the U.N. plan to demobilize the warring factions could leave the Khmer Rouge with the upper hand because its forces might ignore efforts to disarm.

The Cambodian government says that it would be easy for U.N. administrative personnel to identify and disarm soldiers of the Cambodian army but that it would be more difficult to identify and disarm the Khmer Rouge guerrillas, who are dispersed throughout the countryside and trained to immerse themselves in the population.

Regarding the Hun Sen government, a Western diplomat said, "They fear the Khmer Rouge will double-cross them."

But France's foreign minister, Roland Dumas, who was one of the meeting's co-chairmen, said the talks had made some important progress toward ending 20 years of war in the country, and he said he hoped to convene a 19-nation conference in a month or two that would ratify a peace treaty.

Officials at the meeting said the main breakthrough was that the Vietnamese-backed Cambodian government approved a plan in which U.N. representatives would administer the country pending free elections.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.