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U.N. Votes To Monitor Guatemala Cease-Fire

Tue., Jan. 21, 1997

China reversed its veto of plans to send U.N. military observers to Guatemala and joined other members of the Security Council in voting unanimously Monday for U.N. monitoring of the cease-fire agreement ending Central America’s last and longest civil war.

China’s about-face means that 155 observers will be available to oversee implementation of the accord signed Dec. 29 in Guatemala City by President Alvaro Arzu and leftist rebel leaders.

If the cease-fire is implemented successfully, Guatemala will follow Nicaragua and El Salvador in ending the bitter internecine conflicts that marked the 1970s and 1980s as a time of right-wing death squads, military dictatorships and leftist guerrilla warfare in Central America.

The Jan. 10 veto, the first cast by China in 24 years, was in retaliation for Guatemala’s support of Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a breakaway province of China.

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