UN TO SEND PEACE-KEEPING FORCE TO CENTRAL AMERICA

The news that the UN Security Council approved a peace-keeping mission to the Nicaraguan-Honduran border seems to have vindicated the designs, if not the style, of the Sandinista decison to lift a cease-fire here. The announcement by President Daniel Ortega Saavedra Nov. 1 that he would not renew the truce touched off a storm of criticism in Washington and charges that he had committed a great blunder.

``Maybe you don't like their style, but they get what they want,'' a Western ambassador says of the Sandinistas. They are, he added, ``obviously the best players'' in the game of regional diplomacy begun with a peace plan 27 months ago.

The Sandinistas said there was too much complacency over a plan signed last August to demobilize the contras and they wanted to ``shock'' the various players into action with a dramatic maneuver, an official source says.

``What they want is for the ONUCA to be in place quickly,'' says the Western ambassador, referring to the Spanish initials for the peace-keeping force. ``The plan has been ready in New York for some time and had not been voted on. Why? US resistance, probably.''

The Council approved Tuesday creation of a 625-person observer force to ensure that any nation or irregular force does not attack across Central American borders. About 270 peace-keepers are to be in place by December to monitor the Nicaraguan-Honduran frontier.

At a meeting with the contras in New York today and tomorrow, the Sandinistas are expected to tell the rebels they must withdraw from Nicaragua or face a wide-ranging offensive meant to expel them, informed sources here say.

One informed source said the Sandinistas will offer to open ``demobilization corridors'' through which the contras can pass on their way back to Honduras. But a contra spokesman in Honduras said the delegation to the UN talks would accept nothing of the kind.

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