Military Says Resistance Ignores Cease-Fire

Government military spokesmen said Monday that resistance troops continued to ignore the cease-fire declared by deposed first prime minister Prince Nor­o­dom Ranariddh, with one general saying the cease-fire seemed to have “no point.”

Meas Sophea, deputy chief of RCAF general staff, said fighting continued over the weekend near the resistance stronghold of O’Smach on the Thai-Cambodian border.

“It appears that there is no longer any point [to the cease-fire] because skirmishes and fighting are continuing in the northwest,” Meas Sophea said.

Prince Ranariddh declared a cease-fire Feb 27, which was followed by terms from the government that resistance leaders have said are too harsh.

The terms of that order, which RCAF Chief of General Staff Ke Kim Yan signed, called for “ex­tremist forces” to rejoin the government army and to reveal their location, troop strength, names of soldiers and types and locations of weap­ons.

The terms also demanded that resistance forces remain in their current positions and that commanders dismiss Khmer Rouge soldiers from their ranks.

Both sides claimed the cease-fire was being used by their opponents to gain territory.

Meas Sophea said resistance troops used the cease-fire to help position themselves to launch attacks on government bases.

Ko Chean, deputy commander of Military Region 5 in Bat­tambang, said Monday that resistance forces under the command of Iem Phan and Serey Kosal fired 30 mortar shells Sunday at the government base at Ta Touk near Samlot.

He said Ta Touk, along with Spean Yuol and Peam Ta bases in Samlot, about 60 km southwest of Bat­tambang, suffered attacks from the resistance over the weekend. He described casualties as “light.”

Ek Som On, chief of staff for Military Region 5, said the resistance was launching hit-and-run attacks on the government bases near Samlot.

Resistance General Khann Savoeun accused RCAF leaders Friday of taking advantage of the cease-fire by resupplying their troops, according to Reuters news service.

“Since the cease-fire announcement, Hun Sen’s troops have been transporting troops, ammunition and food to the front,” he told Reuters. “If they keep moving closer, we won’t be able to tolerate it. I don’t believe Hun Sen’s forces will stop fighting. They’ll attack us one day.”

Meas Sophea said RCAF troops were being reinforced to defend themselves. When the cease-fire was declared, both sides claimed the right to defend themselves.

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