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Hill welcomes UN move on Cambodia, but concerned about K.R.



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Sunday, March 1

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M HTTiT. WRTiCOMES PH MOVE OH CAMBOPTA. BUT CONCERNED ABQITT K . R .

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, today welcomed the UN's decision to send a peace-*keeping force to Cambodia, but said he remained concerned that the Khmer Rouge was deliberately undermining the peace process.

"The Opposition welcomes the UN's decision to establish the peace-keeping operation in Cambodia," Senator Hill said.

"But the Opposition remains concerned about the Khmer Rouge, especially in the light of continuing reports that the faction is stepping up its guerilla activities in Cambodia.

"Overnight reports say the Khmer Rouge has sent more than 1000 troops to the province of Kompong Thom as part of increased activity in three Cambodian provinces in the past 10 days.

"The troop movements violate the UN peace plan for Cambodia, and it is feared that clashes between the Cambodian factions could lead to all-out war in northern Cambodia.

"These latest reports follow a claim late last week by a Khmer Rouge commander that Cambodia is still at war, and a hint from the Khmer Rouge Defence Minister, Son Sen, that the UN advance mission to Cambodia - which includes 65 Australians - could be

in danger if it does not restrict its movements.

"A number of key players in the peace process - Defence

Science and Personnel Minister Gordon Bilney, UN Secretary- General Boutros-Ghali, UN commander Brigadier-General Michel Loridon, Prince Norodom Ranariddh and the Red Cross - have

expressed concern about the Khmer Rouge in the past fortnight.

"It is clear that the Khmer Rouge is deliberately undermining the peace process in Cambodia.

"However, Senator Evans has chosen to ignore this trend, insisting even after the shooting of an Australian officer in Cambodia that 'the settlement process is very much on track'.

"It's time Senator Evans faced the reality that the Khmer Rouge is continuing to advance its interests militarily and that this poses considerable danger not only to the peace process but to peace-keepers endeavouring to help the Khmer people in the settlement of their conflict."

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Enquiriess Senator Hill on (08) 373 4214 COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH