Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday revisited the history of the civil war that Cambodia experienced for decades and his endeavour to build peace and end the conflicts.
Mr Hun Sen said on his Facebook page yesterday that Cambodia was going through chronic wars, with zones being controlled by factions, until he took charge. He said Cambodia has been controlled by various forces since the 1960s.
In recent weeks, Mr Hun Sen has spoken highly of his policy to end the war and usher in peace during speeches and in Facebook posts.
About 1.7 million Cambodians died from forced labour, disease, starvation and execution during the Khmer Rouge regime between 1975 and 1979.
Three former Khmer Rouge leaders, Kaing Guek Eav alias Duch, who headed the S-21 detention centre; Khieu Samphan, a former head of state; and Brother Number Two Nuon Chea, have all been sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes perpetrated during the regime.
The premier said that although the Khmer Rouge regime was overthrown in 1979, the civil war still flared up in the country with zones controlled by various factions.
He said that the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia spent about $2 billion to organise the 1993 election, but it failed to end the civil war.
Mr Hun Sen noted that despite UNTAC’s presence, Cambodia remained controlled by two armies – the government and the Khmer Rouge.
“What Cambodia wanted was [to end the civil war], but UNTAC could not do it,” he said.
“Actually, only the Cambodian nation has implemented a win-win policy. I committed myself to ending the chronic war,” Mr Hun Sen said, adding Cambodia has been unified and enjoyed full peace since 1998.
“We made an endeavour and sacrificed a lot of lives to obtain full peace,” he said. “We must maintain and protect the peace at whatever cost.”
Political analyst Meas Nee said that the win-win policy was well implemented in 1998 when Cambodia had peace and reconciliation.
“Now there is only one policy – one who loses and one who wins,” he said, referring to the dissolution of the opposition CNRP.
The main opposition party was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November after its leader Kem Sokha was jailed on treason charges for allegedly conspiring with the US to topple the government through a colour revolution. Mr Nee added that the country now enjoys peace but it is divided.