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Hun Sen Turns Kenyan Turmoil on UN Nemesis

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday slammed UN human rights envoy Yash Ghai and his homeland, Kenya, which has undergone political turmoil in recent weeks.

In the latest round of verbal attacks against the UN secretary-general's rights representative to Cambodia, who has been critical of the prime minister and his government, Hun Sen said Ghai should be sent "to work in his own country." "This is the New Year message I want to send to the secretary-general: Whatever [Ghai] said about Cambodia is his country's problem, not Cambodia's problem," Hun Sen said in a public address in Phnom Penh.

In December, Ghai, who is from Kenya, reported that Cambodians could rise up against the government, which has failed to provide them with security, as more and more land is stolen from Cambodia's poor.

Ghai was shunned on his visit by government officials and met only with human rights workers and the displaced rural poor.

"Everything that happened in his country, he compares it to Cambodia. The systematic violation of human rights happens in his country," Hun Sen said. "The president [of Kenya] ordered the shootings, so the soldiers have to carry out the order. Now, the death toll is over 300. There is no rule of law in the country. Even on New Year's Day there is killing. Even people who were trying to hide in a church were killed. So, Yash Ghai, who is the UN secretary-general's special rights representative to Cambodia, tries to come to Cambodia to teach us."

Hun Sen also compared the post-election rioting to Cambodia's killing fields.

"There is killing and bloody violence there. Kenya is almost becoming a killing field," the Associated Press quoted Hun Sen saying Thursday.