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Khmer Rouge Rejects Cease-Fire In Cambodian War

May 8, 1989

TUAN SAI RIER, Cambodia (AP) _ Cambodia’s largest guerrilla group, the Khmer Rouge, today rejected a proposed cease-fire in the decade-old jungle war.

The Khmer Rouge appeared to reject all concessions made by the guerrilla coalition leader, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, in talks last week with Hun Sen, premier of the Vietnamese-installed government in Cambodia.

″We cannot accept a cease-fire that keeps in place a puppet regime,″ said Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan, referring to the pro-Vietnamese government in Phnom Penh. ″Once there is an international commission to supervise the Vietnamese pullout then there will be a cease-fire, not before,″ he said.

Vietnam has said it will withdraw its 50,000 to 70,000 soldiers from Cambodia by Sept. 30. Vietnamese troops entered that country a decade ago to oust the Khmer Rouge, under whose rule an estimated one-fourth of Cambodia’s 8 million people were executed or died of hunger.

Khieu Samphan and Sihanouk, president of the United Nations-recognized resistance coalition government, spoke with reporters at a Sihanouk army base about half a mile inside Cambodia’s Siam Reap province.

Sihanouk joined the Khmer Rouge because of its military might, estimated at 30,000 to 40,000, far more than the non-communist Khmer People’s National Liberation Front and forces led by Sihanouk.

Thailand’s prime minister, Chatichai Choonhavan, mediated talks last week in Jakarta, Indonesia, between Sihanouk and Hun Sen. The prime minister proposed they agree to a cease-fire before the Vietnamese troops withdraw.

Both Sihanouk and Hun Sen agreed to Chatichai’s proposal.

But Khieu Samphan said today a cease-fire could come only with the simultaneous dismantling of the Hun Sen government. He said a new provisional government ″should be formed outside the framework of the two regimes,″ referring to the guerrilla coalition and Hun Sen government. But Hun Sen has ruled out Khmer Rouge participation in any new provisional government.

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