Hun Sen Credits Cambodians for 1991 Peace

Prime Minister Hun Sen was briefly “detained” in 1993 “by a group of people who did not recognize the result of the [1993] elections,” the Prime Minister said Monday.

The revelation was one of two “secrets” Hun Sen told an audience of about 300 during closing comments at a conference in Phnom Penh marking the 10th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords.

Hun Sen said he and Pol Saroeun, chief of staff of the armed forces, were detained for three hours on June 2, 1993, one month after the elections. He said he was “saved” by an “018 mobile phone.” But he did not say where he was detained, why, or exactly by whom.

“I will keep [the other details] for my book in the fu­ture,” he said.

Hun Sen also revealed details of a private meeting with King Norodom Sihanouk in Jakarta in June 1991, during talks on the Accords.

The King, then in exile, offered to return to Cam­bodia while the then-existing Vietnam-supported government of Heng Samrin and Hun Sen stayed in place, Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen also said he recommended a 70 percent demobilization of all factions during a working breakfast of countries overseeing those 1991 peace talks.

Hun Sen said Cambodians alone—and not foreign assistance as represented by Untac or the Accords—were responsible for the peace that followed the collapse of the Khmer Rouge.

Hun Sen once again heaped criticism upon Untac, the massive in­ternational effort to enforce the Ac­cords and usher in elections. He called the Untac-supervised 1993 elections the “worst elections the world has seen in the 20th century,” said Untac personnel be­haved like “armed robbers” and accused its forces of backing down from the Khmer Rouge.

Gesturing towards the then-chief of Untac in Siem Reap, Benny Widyono, Hun Sen re­called his anger when an Untac spokesman contended that the government, as well as the Khmer Rouge, were violating the  Accords.

He said he told Untac that if it did not “control” its spokesman, he would withdraw government troops from Siem Reap, which would have allowed the Khmer Rouge to take over the pro­vince.

 

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