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Peace Accords Remain Unfulfilled: Officials

With laws or treaties not being applied, and some canceled or nullified, and with Cambodia’s human rights efforts under fire, opposition and rights officials said Thursday the Paris Peace Accords have not been fully implemented.

Friday marks the 18th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, but “if the government does not fulfill it, we as a people will just do it, struggle for it,” Tith Huon, a Sam Rainsy Party official in France, said on “Hello VOA.”

Eighteen countries signed the accords on Oct. 23, 1991, ending a civil war that raged in Cambodia in the 1980s and paving the way for a UN peacekeeping force and elections in 1993.

The accords aimed to bring awareness of human rights and other freedoms, and opened the way for non-governmental organizations to aid in the country’s development.

However, 18 years later, the ideals of the accord have been slow to materialize, said Thun Saray, director of the rights group Adhoc, who was also a guest on “Hello VOA.”

“The rights to land and housing are still lacking,” he said, referring to forced evictions that have increased in recent years, alongside a land value boom.

However, the accords did bring monitoring by foreign countries over the restoration of economic and social issues, as well as education and health, he said.

Phay Siphan, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said the government had not ignored the accords, which cannot be nullified.

“The Khmers have done [everything] on their own,” he said, speaking by phone ahead of the program. “We should be proud as Khmers.”