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Cambodia: Major News Items, 4/15/96 - 4/21/96

Khmer Rouge Attack Vacationing Civilians
On April 16 it was reported that approximately 30 civilians had been abducted by the Khmer Rouge following fighting between the guerrillas and government forces in Kampot province. The guerrillas allegedly set fire to several vehicles and cottages in the area of the Tuk Chhou waterfall, a popular vacation spot. At least two persons injured in the attack were evacuated to Phnom Penh for medical treatment. (UPI, 4/16/96)

U.S. Official Says Aid May Be Linked To Cambodia's Policies
Kent Wiedemann, a Deputy Assistant in the State Department, told journalists that U.S. aid to Cambodia might "dry up" if there are serious violations of democratic principles. The U.S. presently provides about $30 million annually in aid to Cambodia. His statements came in the wake of a non-binding resolution passed in March which raised concerns over human rights violations in Cambodia. (France Presse, 4/17/96)

Tanks Stationed Near Hun Sen's House
Following co-Premier Hun Sen's recent claims that he was the target of a planned assassination, Tanks were reportedly stationed near Hun Sen's house in Phnom Penh. It was the first time in five months that such precautions had been taken. (Reuter, 4/19/96)

Chea Sim Urges Calm
Chea Sim, the President of the National Assembly, called upon the CPP and FUNCINPEC parties to calm their rhetoric and work toward reconciliation. "During the present difficult time there is no other alternative for us than to continue to understand each other with tolerance and to join hands with each other in good cooperation." Meanwhile, opposition leader Sam Rainsy wrote in the Cambodia Daily newspaper that foreign observers would be essential to ensure that the upcoming 1998 elections would be "truly free and fair." (Leo Dobbs, Reuter, 4/19/96)

Germans To Ban Landmines
Two days after Australia announced a ban on the use of anti-personnel mines by its forces, Germany announced that their army would also abandon the use of the weapons, and would push for a global ban on their use. (Reuter, 4/16/96). Meanwhile, several Cambodian activists and victims of mines were planning to attend a conference in Geneva to lobby for the worldwide ban. Some sources estimate that 1 out of every 26 Cambodians has been disabled by mines. (UPI, 4/20/96)


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