S-1854: Military Support
The Cambodian military factions, and their respective political parties, consisted of:
Cambodian People's Armed Forces (CPAF) - State of Cambodia (SOC)
National Army of Democratic Kampuchea (NADK) - Party of Democratic Kampuchea/Cambodia National Unity Party (PDK/Khmer Rouge/CNUP)
Khmer People's National Liberation Armed Forces (KPNLAF) - Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF)
National Army of Independent Cambodia (ANKI) - United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC)
The UNTAC headquarters was located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and led by a Force Commander who reported directly to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) at United Nations Headquarters in New York. There was a Chief of Staff who reported to the Force Commander and the Deputy Force Commander. Reporting to the Chief of Staff were the Operation Branch, Plans Branch, Personnel Branch, Logistics Branch, Engineer Branch, and the Medical Branch.
The UNTAC Military Component was mandated to: monitor the ceasefire and disengagement of forces; monitor withdrawal of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia; facilitate and monitor the demobilization and disarming of 70 percent of each faction’s force, as well as the cantonment of the remaining 30 percent; and to conduct mine clearance. The military also provided security for the electoral process.
The Paris Peace Agreement (October 1991) made a provision for a Mixed Military Working Group (MMWG), to be chaired by the most senior United Nations military officer in Cambodia (or his representative), with participation by the ANKI, CPAF, KPNLAF, and NADK factions. Each faction nominated a principal representative and three special advisors with technical expertise (in legitimate military functions, such as operations, administration, engineering, or transport) to attend MMWG meetings.
The MMWG met regularly to resolve problems that arose in the observance of the ceasefire. Similar liaison arrangements were made at lower military command levels to resolve practical problems on the ground. The level of the MMWG meeting determined who attended. The meeting levels were:
Secretariat Level - Chaired by Chief of MMWG Secretariat and Chief Civil Liaison Officer, Lt. Col. J. Damien Healy, and attended by Faction Liaison Officers and the MMWG Secretariat staff.
Level I – Weekly meetings of high-level, permanent representatives of all parties, chaired by the Force Commander. The focus of these meetings was to summarize the achievements of the week and project tasks for the following week.
Level II – Meetings were conducted on a daily basis or as required. Chaired by the Deputy Force Commander,
Level II meetings were attended by special advisors or technical experts from the parties as required.
MMWG subgroups (alternatively referred to as working groups) included: Security Working Group; Force Structure Working Group; Engineer Planning Subgroup; and a Finance and Infrastructure Working Group.
UNTAC Provisional Standing Operating Procedures called for local MMWGs to be formed at each sector headquarters. Chaired by the Sector Commander, the local MMWG working groups focused on border checkpoints, cantonment, and the resolution of local interfaction problems, especially ceasefire violations. There were also emergency meetings. The convening of emergency meetings was the exclusive right of the Chairman following the advice of his staff or a request from a Level I or Level II permanent member. Each party was to be given at least six hours notice of an emergency meeting and attendance by the principal representative or by the senior member of the special advisors was desired.
The UNTAC Military Component was led by Force Commander (FC) Lieutenant Colonel John Sanderson of Australia, who was based at UNTAC HQ in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Sanderson reported directly to Yasushi Akashi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG). Their communications exchanged operational information concerning UNTAC troop contributing nations, as well as the military and diplomatic coordination between UN-NY and UNTAC. Routine correspondence from the Force Commander’s Military Assistant (MA) to Sector Commanders and Senior Maritime Operations Officers is also present in the records. Documents of note are periodic liaison letters prepared by the MA, for dissemination throughout the Military Component. The liaison letters describe the general situation, including information about faction activities, the Civilian Police (CIVPOL), finances, and human rights violations.
The records include summaries of MMWG meetings chaired by the FC. The summaries describe the discussion of issues such as: post-election security; the structural arrangement of the Cambodian Armed Forces and Navy; the role of a quadripartite maritime liaison office in the formulation of a maritime strategy for Cambodia; and proposals of the Cambodian People’s Armed Forces (CPAF) for the return of weapons and ammunition for the CPAF Navy.
The FC’s records contain Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs), Operation Orders (OPORDERS), and memoranda establishing UNTAC’s military action. These comprise: directives of the SRSG reflecting on legal issues, such as the reluctance of Cambodian judges to hear cases prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor and drafts toward establishing procedures for the prosecution of persons responsible for human rights violations; Proposed Development and Operation of the Cambodian Border Control Mechanism (September 1993); Logistics Instructions for Military Units and Electoral Teams (October 1992); Use of Military Aircraft in UNTAC Mission Area (December 1992); UNTAC Communications Facilities (March 1992); and reports concerning the use of United Nations Military Observers (UNMO) and other UN staff as election officers. Other records describe the activities of the Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) and include documentation of the agreements between UNTAC and CMAC, and a paper on the future of CMAC, post-UNTAC (July 1993).
The records include information on the rehabilitation and cantonment of warring factions’ troops by the UNTAC military component, such as: a brief titled “Employment of Cantoned Troops” authored by Chief of Plans (July 1992); a paper on the Employment Generation Programme, formulated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO,) which includes extensive training schemes for demobilised soldiers (September 1992); and a Statement on Rehabilitation by the SRSG to the Supreme National Council (January 1993).
The records also contain the SRSG’s statements to UNTAC staff and to the Cambodian Supreme National Council (SNC) about electoral issues, made in July 1992 and May 1993.
The FC files also comprise records of the Chief of Military Public Information, who was based at HQ UNTAC and who liaised directly with the FC. These include a military public information plan, weekly military information summaries, and military information notes.
The UNTAC Military Police (MILPOL) were headquartered in Phnom Penh, and their records consist of investigation reports and planning documents, such as MILPOL SOPs (June 1993) and a memorandum titled “Functioning of UNTAC Military Police,” from Force Provost Marshal to Chief Military Police Officer (August 1992). These documents were circulated widely, including to the FC and COS. Records of the Civilian Police (CIVPOL), also headquartered in Phnom Penh, include: a report on the phasing out of CIVPOL, from the FC to the CIVPOL Commissioner; a Concept of Operation of CIVPOL Withdrawal Operation; and an investigation of the theft of ancient religious artefacts and a cave-in at the Bante Chmar Wat, in Banteay Meanchey Province (August 1992).
The records of UNTAC battalions document the presence of contingent nation’s contribution to the military component. Documents of note include: Ghanaian Battalion (GHANBAT) OPORDERS 2, 3, 4, and 6; and a report titled “Background of Japanese Engineering Battalion,” describing the historical background, domestic political situation, organization of peacekeeping operations in Japan, and the legal background for their involvement in UNTAC. The Battalion records also include investigation reports on the Tuk Meas Slaughter (August 1992) and the Strategic Investigation Team’s report on the alleged threat against UNMOs by the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea (NADK) at Kraya (August 1992).
The UNTAC Plans Branch was headquartered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and reported to the Force Commander (FC) through the Chief of Staff (COS). The Plans Branch included: the Mixed Military Working Group (MMWG); the MMWG subgroups (alternatively referred to as working groups); the Civil Liaison Cell; and the Training Cell.
The files of the Plans Branch contain summaries of meetings of various levels of the MMWG. The levels represented are: Level I; Level II; Secretariat Level; Chiefs of General Staff Level; the Engineer Planning Subgroup; the Maritime Subgroup; the Finance and Infrastructure Subgroup; and the Sector Liaison Section. Topics of the meetings range from faction requests for the return of cantoned weapons due to a deteriorating security situation (Level I) and ceasefire violations (Level II); to training and formation of the Combined Maritime Development Group (Maritime Subgroup). In addition to meeting summaries, the records also contain MMWG policy papers and discussion papers, often with annotated drafts, prepared by the MMWG Secretariat and circulated between the FC and the Plans Branch (General Chiefs of Staff Level).
The Civil Liaison Cell (CLC) was headed by the Chief Civil Liaison Officer and Chief of the MMWG Secretariat, Lieutenant Colonel J. Damien Healy. The records of the CLC are comprised of correspondence between UNTAC and high-level faction representatives and/or their respective political party. The correspondence was exchanged primarily between Lt. Col. Healy and: the FC; the Cambodian People's Armed Forces (CPAF); the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea (NADK); Khmer People's National Liberation Armed Forces (KPNLAF); and the National Army of Independent Cambodia (ANKI). Topics of the correspondence include: proposed UNTAC responses to NADK actions, prepared by Lt. Col. Healy and sent to the FC (August 1992); UNTAC-authored Policy Advice Papers (October 1992 and April 1993); internal responses to drafts of discussion papers prepared by the Plans Branch for MMWG meetings (January 1993); and UNTAC official responses to statements issued by factions. The records also contain correspondence and summaries of meetings between the FC and faction leaders, which were copied to the CLC. There are: summaries of monthly meetings between the FC and CPAF (February - July 1993) and correspondence between the FC and the KPNLAF regarding a rupture within the faction, and the FC’s call for a single command structure (June 1993).
The records of the Chief of Plans contain incoming and outgoing faxes which include: weekly military information summaries, describing the general activities of the military component; a paper prepared by the FC for Sector Commanders entitled, UNTAC’S Isolation from the Cambodian Population (August 1992); and a Civic Action Pamphlet, prepared by the Deputy Force Commander which describs the purpose and philosophy of civic action and the duties and responsibilities of the Civic Action Cell, Sector Commanders, and United Nations Military Observers (July 1992).
The Training Cell, headed by a Senior Training Officer, coordinated and monitored the retraining of cantoned soldiers. The records of the Training Cell consist of incoming and outgoing faxes pertaining to the progress and development of rehabilitation programs. Details of the reintegration training programmes during cantonment are found in the cantonment records. The programmes detailed include: entrepreneurship training (January 1993); learning vocations such as soap making, metal work, fish drying and natural fibre rope making (March 1993); a functional literacy programme (November 1992); and a drivers training project (November 1992). The cantonment records also contain extensive interviews with self-demobilized soldiers.
The records of the Plans Branch also hold drafts of Operation Orders (OPORDERS) 1 - 4, and 6, which were for the joint military component of UNTAC. The Orders direct: engineering support to the military component; the control and coordination of maritime operations; and UNTAC’s withdrawal operation.
The UNTAC Operation Branch (Ops Branch) of the military component was headquartered in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, and was comprised of the: Air Support Cell; Maritime Cell; Monitoring Cell; Civilian Police (CIVPOL) Liaison Cell; and the Signals Cell. The Operation Branch was headed by the Chief of Operations (COO), Colonel Mohd Aris, who reported to the Force Commander (FC) through the Chief of Staff (COS). The primary task of the Ops Branch was the execution of the FC’s orders.
The records largely consist of periodic reports on the general activities of the military component. These include daily situation reports (SITREP) drafted by the COO and sent from UNTAC Ops headquarters to the Assistant Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The SITREP detail the operations and activities of the military component providing information about: Mixed Military Working Group (MMWG) liaison; faction activity; cantonment progress; and personnel strength. Also present in the records are periodic summaries (PERSUM) prepared monthly by the Senior Sector United Nations Military Observer (SSUNMO) and sent to UNTAC headquarters. These describe: the political and military situation in a sector, ceasefire violations (CFV), firing incidents (FI), and reports on UNMO activities. The records also contain daily ceasefire violation (CFV) reports prepared by the SSUNMO and sent to the Monitoring Cell at the Ops Branch headquarters. These reports briefly describe the investigation of CFV carried out by UNMO, and indicate the location and the faction(s) involved.
The records also contain UNTAC Operation Orders and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The directives pertain to: the carriage and use of weapons by UNTAC personnel; security plans for military support during the election, such as an electoral registration safety and security plan (October 1992); and the guarding of political party offices (December 1992).
In addition, there are summaries of meetings of the sector level and Level I MMWG and subject files concerning the self-demobilisation of members of the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea (NADK). The records also contain reports of the Strategic Investigation Team (SIT) which was tasked with investigating violations of the Paris Agreement of 23 October 1991. The allegations investigated include: the presence of foreign forces in Cambodia, ceasefire violations, and violations of general security measures.
Operation Branch, Monitoring Cell
The Monitoring Cell was a component of to the UNTAC Operation Branch (Ops Branch), headquartered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The records of the Monitoring Cell contain periodic reports on the general activities of the military component. These include daily situation reports (SITREP) drafted by the Chief of Operations (COO) at the Ops Branch for the Assistant Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The SITREP detail the operations and activities of the military component and include information about: Mixed Military Working Group (MMWG) liaison, faction activity, cantonment progress, and personnel strength. Also present in the records are periodic summaries (PERSUM) drafted monthly by the Senior Sector United Nations Military Observer (SSUNMO) and sent to UNTAC headquarters in Phnom Penh. These describe: the political and military situation in a sector, ceasefire violations (CFV), firing incidents (FI), and reports on UNMO activities.
Incoming and outgoing correspondence from the UNTAC sectors are also present in the records. Documents of note in this general correspondence include: “Lessons Learned” reports prepared by the SSUNMO and sent to the Monitoring Cell and the Plans Branch at UNTAC HQ (July 1993); a handwritten Area of Operation (AO) report prepared by the UNMO team at Prey Veng Province, describing faction activities, the political situation, and general information about the area; and cantonment site reports prepared by sector monitoring teams detailing the Chhanang and Toek Poh cantonment sites, evaluating site objectives and providing recommendations, photos, and a hand-drawn layout of the facilities.
Also present in the records is documentation of investigations carried out by UNMOs and sent to the Monitoring Cell. Acts of aggression perpetrated by the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea (NADK) against other factions, villages, and UNTAC are prominent in the investigations. There is also a NADK subject file which contains faction information and memoranda regarding procedures for self-demobilisation of NADK forces, as well as interviews with self-demobilised soldiers.
The records also include reports of the Border Liaison Cell. This cell consisted of border check points established by UNTAC at selected locations along the Cambodian side of the border and at airfields inside Cambodia. Stationed at these checkpoints were five UNMO, ten soldiers as well as faction Liaison Officers. The UNMO monitored and verified parties’ compliance with the Paris Agreement, including the cessation of outside military assistance to Cambodian factions. The records contain general incoming and outgoing correspondence as well as monthly border and foreign liaison briefs, which were sent from the Border Liaison Cell and widely circulated. These briefs cover activities of the Cell, and contain information about the intrusion of foreign forces; smuggling of Arms/Ammo; density of cross-border traffic and trade; and cross-border liaison.
Phnom Penh Special Zone
The records of Phnom Penh Special Zone (PNP SZ) document the general activities of the UNTAC Military Component.
Included in the records are daily situation reports (SITREP) drafted by the Chief of Operations (COO) and sent from UNTAC headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to the Assistant Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The SITREP detail the operations and activities of the military component including information about: Mixed Military Working Group (MMWG) liaison; faction activity; cantonment progress; and personnel strength. Weekly military information summaries (MILINFOSUM) prepared by the Military Information Branch at UNTAC HQ and widely distributed, are also present in the records. MILINFOSUM describe the general situation and activities of the military component.
The records also contain meeting summaries of the MMWG Secretariat level. These often include supporting documents such as: discussion papers and annotated drafts prepared by the Secretariat; text of presentations; and a brief titled, “MMWG Guidance on Faction Responsibilities for the Provision of Security during the Elections” (May 1993).
Investigations carried out by the United Nations Military Police (MILPOL) are also included in the records. These investigations are primarily concerned with assaults on party officials and party offices in PNP SZ. The records also contain some investigations carried out by United Nations Military Observers (UNMO) of ceasefire violations.
General incoming and outgoing correspondence from the PNP SZ is also present in the records. Documents of note include: drawings of officer rank insignia for the Cambodian People's Armed Forces (February 1993); and a publication from the Military Information Branch, “New Hope for Cambodia” (June 1993).
The records also contain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Operation Orders issued by the Force Commander to the Military Component. Security instructions for the May 1993 general elections (Operation Safeguard) aimed to secure the city of Phnom Penh during the election are prominently represented in the records.
Operation Branch, Monitoring Cell, Strategic Investigation Team
The Strategic Investigation Programme was initiated in June 1992 with the primary purpose of investigating allegations of the presence of foreign forces (FF) in Cambodia. The operations of the Strategic Investigation Teams (SIT) drew their legitimacy from provisions of the Paris Agreement of 23 October 1991.
The SIT tasks included the investigation and verification of: the location of arms, ammunition and other military supplies for disposal by the respective sector troops; ceasefire violations (CFV) by one or more factions; deliberate violation or interference with the cantonment process; and other matters as directed by the Force Commander.
The records contain general and detailed information about SIT investigations including transcribed interviews with witnesses and supporting documentation such as photos and/or sketches.
SIT investigations present in the records include:
• The killing of Bulgarian Battalion (BULBAT) soldiers in Kampong Speu Province, April 1993
• The killing of 6 Vietnamese at Peam Chhkaok in Kampong Chhnang Province, August 1993
• The killing of 8 Vietnamese in Kampong Chnang, July 1993
• CFV in Angkor Chum, Siem Reap Province, March 1993
• Ambush near Phum Ku, Cambodia, which resulted in the death of a Japanese CIVPOL officer, May 1993
• Firing Incident and detention of UNTAC vehicles and personnel, January 1993
• Alleged presence of FF in the State of Cambodia (SOC) Communications Ministry, May 1993
• Alleged presence of FF in Kampong Cham Province, February 1993
Documents of note, also included in the records are: a paper titled, “Cambodian People's Armed Forces Position on the Accusation of the Presence of Foreign Forces in Cambodia,” prepared by the Coordinator of Communication of the SOC Ministry of Defence, for the UNTAC Force Commander (March 1993); and a “Table of Allegations of Political Intimidation in Cambodia” (January 1993). Another paper, “Reference material and Investigation Reports on the Presence of Foreign Forces,” was prepared by the Chief of the SIT, for UNTAC’s Legal Advisor (February 1993). This paper provides a synopsis on recent investigations of FF, and includes the response from the Legal Advisor assessing which cases investigated, were legally within the scope of the term “foreign forces.”
Border Liaison Cell
The Border Liaison Cell functioned under the office of the Deputy Force Commander (DFC), Brigadier General Robert Rideau. Through the DFC, the Cell reported to the Force Commander and advised the Operations Branch.
The Border Liaison Cell consisted of border checkpoints established by UNTAC at select locations along Cambodia’s border with Thailand, Laos, and Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV), and at airfields within Cambodia. Stationed at these checkpoints were five UNMO, ten soldiers as well as faction Liaison Officers. The UNMO were to monitor and verify parties’ compliance with the Paris Agreement of 23 October 1991, including cessation of outside military assistance to Cambodian factions.
The records include border liaison summaries, sent from checkpoints to the Border Liaison Cell in the office of the DFC. These reports describe the activities at the checkpoint, contain the names of faction LOs posted at the location, and provide details about incidents such as: smuggling of arms and ammunition; entry of foreign civilians; airspace violations; and illegal trafficking of natural resources. The records also document UNMO investigations of logging and gem operations in Cambodia (March - May 1993).
Daily press briefings are also present in the records. These were sent from the Liaison Coordinator at UNTAC headquarters and widely circulated. They summarize the daily briefing, delivered by UNTAC Spokesman Erick Falt or his Assistant, Eric Berman.
The records contain notable documents such as: a working paper titled, “UNTAC Border Control Mechanism” (September 1992), which includes an annotated and handwritten drafts; a “Draft Declaration on the Mining and Export of Minerals and Gems” prepared by the director of the Rehabilitation Component (December 1993); and a mission report prepared by the Natural Resources Controller of Civil Affairs and titled, “Declaration on the export of logs from Cambodia” (November 1992). The Border Liaison Cell files also include the 26 October 1992 “Guidelines for UNTAC Operations in Thailand,” which details crossing point locations along the Thai border, in addition to the Force Commander’s crossing point procedures for UNTAC personnel.
The records also provide information about violations by UNTAC of SRV airspace (1993). Documentation relating to these incidents includes: protest letters from SRV representatives; summaries of meetings between LOs of respective parties; a memoranda from the Force Commander to the Ambassador of the SRV expressing regret over the reported incidents.
Memoranda from April 1993 concern Operation Safe Passage, which facilitated the safe escort of over 18,000 SRV refugees from Cambodia. A “SRV Exodus Log,” present in the records provides information about SRV refugee movement, including the: total number of SRV; number of vessels; the number of families. The Naval Operations Order 1/93, Operation Safe Passage, dated 30 March 1993, is also included.
The files also contain summaries of meetings between the Border Liaison Cell and SRV which detail the movements of ethnic Vietnamese in and out of Cambodia. The military climate of the border area after the 23-28 May 1993 Cambodia elections is also documented. The records which relate to the Cambodian-Vietnamese border also notably include: memoranda regarding the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of UNMOs; and an 11 May 1993 report titled “Report on the Training of Cambodian Immigration and Border Control Officers.”
The Logistics Branch was tasked with ensuring efficient flow of material and equipment to the Military Component. Posted at UNTAC headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia was a Chief Logistics Officer (CLO) who was responsible for the planning, execution and supervision of all logistics activities within the Military Component. The CLO reported to the Force Commander (FC) through the Deputy Force Commander (DFC).
The records of the Logistics Branch contain operational planning documents such as Logistics Directives, issued between June 1992 and April 1993, which establish how the Branch’s responsibilities would be carried out. There is also a 1 October 1992 document titled “Logistic Instructions for Electoral Teams,” which details logistics for the Electoral Component’s deployment of voter registration kits.
The records also include minutes of the Commanding Officer’s conferences from February and April of 1993. There is also a document titled, “Long Programme for the Secretary-General 7-8 April 1993,” with the agenda for the visit of the Secretary-General, a list of attendees, and plans for the arrival and departure ceremonies with hand-drawn diagrams. Also present in the records are a “Lessons Learned” report, prepared by the CLO and sent to the Chief of Plans (July 1993), and a lengthy document titled, “Surface Transport Report – Cambodia,” which reports, reconnaissance of rail, waterway, and road transportation in Cambodia.
Military Police, Force Provost Marshal
UNTAC Military Police (MP) operated under the authority of the Force Commander (FC) and was tasked with the discipline of military personnel. The Force Provost Marshal (alternatively referred to as Military Provost Marshal) was posted at UNTAC headquarters in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and reported to the FC through the Chief of Staff (COS).
The records of the Force Provost Marshal include: minutes of weekly Chief of Staff meetings; agenda for the Deputy Force Commander Conference (December 1992); and statements issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Yasushi Akashi, to UNTAC staff (March, May 1993). The records also contain memoranda on topics such as: the Military Police’s role in the UNTAC-sponsored, public meeting among the political parties (May 1993); and Military Police powers of arrest and search, prepared by the UNTAC Special Prosecutor (August 93).
Headed by the Force Engineer, the Engineer Branch was managed by the Engineer Planning and Liaison Cell. Included in the records are the Engineer Branch Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), operation orders, and operation order annexes. The annexes detail the maintenance of Cambodian infrastructure in relation to activities of the warring factions. Also included in the files are the meeting minutes of the Mixed Military Working Group (MMWG) and the Engineer Planning Sub Group.