When I first traveled to Cambodia in March 1993, it was as a correspondent to cover the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia operation. From March 1992 to 24 September 1993, about 22,000 troops from around the world were sent to police a process of monitoring a ceasefire, overseeing elections, and political rehabilitation. Civil war continued, with the Khmer Rouge holed up in the northwestern part of the country near the Thai border. It had been fourteen years since the Khmer Rouge had been chased out of Phnom Penh. While UNTAC forces created a platform of stability essential to rebuild a new government structure and hold elections, the absence of peace, which lasted for years after UNTAC left, worked to the advantage of the Khmer Rouge by delaying their day of reckoning. What no one envisioned in 1993 was that those responsible for the Khmer Rouge regime would be held accountable for their crimes against humanity and genocide. More than eighteen years after I first reported on the UNTAC operation in Cambodia, I returned to witness the opening day of Case 002 in a hybrid court. The structure, operation and selection of the court personnel is an experiment.
more from Christopher G. Moore at Evergreen Review here.