Resistance leader Prince Norodom Sihanouk proposed Wednesday setting up a Cambodian government and army that represent equally the four warring parties in the 9-year-old civil war.
The proposal by Sihanouk upstaged peace negotiations in Bogor between the Vietnamese-installed government and the three-party guerrilla coalition that has been trying to topple it.He told representatives of all four factions, who traveled to Jakarta to hear him, that the proposed four-party government in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, would be "a collegial system perfectly equal."
He suggested that "we keep intact our four armies but they fraternally form the national army of Cambodia with a quadripartite general staff."
Sihanouk also wants an international conference under the auspices of U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar convened as soon as possible to guarantee the neutrality of Cambodia, supervise the withdrawal of foreign troops and organize free elections.
Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia in 1978 and overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime, which killed at least a million Cambodians in its attempt to impose agrarian communism after gaining power in 1975.
The four warring Cambodian factions and representatives from Vietnam, Laos and the six members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have been holding informal talks in Bogor since Monday.
Sihanouk, 65, quit as leader of the anti-Vietnamese coalition this month and left leadership of his faction to his son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh. But he agreed to visit Jakarta as a guest of President Suharto.
Leaders of the four factions made a pilgrimage to Jakarta Wednesday to hear Sihanouk, who ruled Cambodia from 1941 to 1970.
He presented his proposals in English in a speech to Premier Hun Sen, premier of the Vietnam-installed government in Phnom Penh; Khieu Samphan, leader of the Khmer Rouge; Son Sann of the anti-communist Khmer People's National Liberation Front; and Ranariddh.
There was no immediate comment from the other factions, and Sihanouk said the proposal had no better than a 50-50 chance of being accepted. The plan was broad and lacked specific details.
Representatives of the four factions met privately with him before returning to Bogor.
Sihanouk said the three-member coalition manages to stick together because they hate Vietnam slightly more than each other.
"It is certainly handy to make Vietnam assume alone the responsibility for our miseries and humiliations," he said. "But it is not less true that some Khmer factions are equally heavily responsible for these miseries and humiliations."
Sihanouk has rejected the latest peace plan from the Vietnam-backed government.
Many Cambodians remain deeply suspicious of Vietnam's motives despite Hanoi's promise to withdraw all occupation troops by the first quarter of 1990. Many also fear a return to power by Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge, the strongest member of the coalition.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said a consensus was developing at Bogor that the troop withdrawal should be linked with steps to ensure that the Khmer Rouge do not regain power.