Written Answers. - Khmer Rouge.

Ivor Callely

Ceist:

198 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the difficulties the Cambodian people have experienced in the past he has satisfied himself that the Khmer Rouge will never again be in a forceable position to cause such difficulties to the Cambodian people; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The people of Cambodia endured unspeakable suffering under the Khmer Rouge and this must never be allowed to happen again.

The Agreements signed in Paris last October by all the Cambodian factions, including the Khmer Rouge, provide for the holding of free and fair elections supervised by the UN. The aim is to ensure that all the people of Cambodia will be able to vote democratically on the choice of a future Government for their country. The United Nations has established the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) to ensure that suitable conditions are created in the transitional period so that elections may be held not later than May 1993. Through UNTAC, the UN will have a key role in safeguarding human rights, organising the election process, policing the ceasefire, demobilising the factions and ensuring the safe repatriation of refugees to the country from neighbouring Thailand. The military component of UNTAC, numbering some 15,000 personnel, will regroup the various forces in designated areas and supervise their demobilisation.

I am satisfied that the comprehensive implementation of the Paris Agreement, supervised by the UN under the full authority of the Security Council, will guarantee to all the people of Cambodia a free and democratic choice and a future free from the horrors which characterised the despotic rule of the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot.