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Copyright (c) 1996 President and Fellows of Harvard College
Harvard International Law Journal

BOOK REVIEW: CAMBODIA: THE LEGACY AND LESSONS OF UNTAC. BY TREVOR FINDLAY

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Research Report No. 9; Oxford University Press (Oxford, 1995). Pp. 238. $ 45.00 (cloth), $ 28.00 (paper).

Winter, 1996

37 Harv. Int'l L.J. 293

Author

Reviewed by Jamie Frederic Metzl*

Excerpt

I arrived in Cambodia in November 1991 with a strong sense of history. The Paris Peace Agreement, 1 signed just three weeks before, had promised to put an end to thirteen years of civil war. The treaty called for the demobilization and cantonment of Cambodia's four warring factions and for U.N. control of Cambodian political life during a transition period to democracy. 2 The high point of this effort was to be a U.N.-run election for a constitutional Assembly. For the next two years, my UNTAC colleagues and I struggled to help create this new Cambodia.

When I left the country in August 1993, I had no idea whether or not we had succeeded. Certainly, the elections had been technically perfect, with ninety percent of eligible voters casting their ballots. 3 What the elections and the U.N. mission meant for Cambodia, however, was quite another matter. Would they finally break Cambodia's long-running cycle of war, corruption, official impunity, and abuse, I asked myself. I lay awake at night wondering whether the idealism I had lost investigating murders, massacres, and other human rights violations had been sacrificed for a purpose. It was therefore with great anticipation and hope that my questions might be answered that I picked up Trevor Findlay's Cambodia: The Legacy and Lessons of UNTAC. The book, I found, was thoughtful and well written. It provided an excellent overview of U.N. operations in Cambodia. It did not, however, fulfill the promise of its ambitious title.

I. EVALUATING ...
 
 
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