UN offers deal in Cambodia

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

PHNOM PENH (Reuter) - The UN chief in Cambodia has offered temporarily to withdraw some civilian personnel from the eastern provinces, where government soldiers have threatened peace-keeping staff at gunpoint. Yasushi Akashi said he was making the offer to calm the situation in the three provinces, scenes of protests by the government party over its election defeat.

Mr Akashi's statement followed a demand by the head of state, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, that the UN withdraw totally from the provinces of Kompong Cham, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng. Officials of the formerly communist government in the three provinces have declared that they are 'seceding' from the rest of Cambodia in protest at what they say was a fraudulent election.