Thursday, February 4, 2010

Government Takes Action for Military Reform


The Royal Government of Cambodia has taken a strict measure to reform the military sector in order to strengthen discipline and the quality of military capacity in Cambodia.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said that the military reform as well as forestry and land reforms are very necessary and also the life of the Royal Government of Cambodia for development of the country.

Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that the military reform was important because it will help the government effectively control the armed forces as well as to upgrade and develop the military sector in the Kingdom of Cambodia in the future.

“I think that military reform is very necessary and important for the Royal Government of Cambodia. I wish to order to all Cambodian military commanders, deputy-commanders and military officials, and other relevant authorities or institutions to fully respect their military disciplines and code of military conduct in Cambodia,” he said during his closing remarks at the annual congress in the Ministry of National Defense in Phnom Penh on January 28.

Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen stated that to reform Cambodia’s military sector, all military commanders, deputy-commanders, and military officials have to work hard to be strong-based forces of the competent authorities in order to fulfill their duties in supporting the competent authorities in cracking down the illegal trading activities such as deforestation, lands grabbing, illegal fishing and other terrorist acts happening in Cambodia.

To carry out this reform, all military commanders, deputy commanders, and officials should not commit illegal business activities such as grabbing the lands of the poor people or being behind the business people who are doing illegal trading activities including deforestation, land grabbing and illegal fishing activities in Cambodia, he said.

The Premier pointed out that according to his own notice, nowadays about two percent of Cambodia’s military commanders, deputy-commanders and officials have used their military positions or influence to engage in illegal business activities in Cambodia. They are not only behind illegal activities but also support business people to commit deforestation, land grabbing and illegal fishing in Cambodia. He added that these commanders and officials’ activities really affected Cambodia’s military sector and the government’s military profile. They also gave a bad model for other soldiers and people in Cambodia.

“I would like to officially declare that from now on those who have been involved with illegal business activities must immediately stop their activities. If they continue it they should not work with military any more as they will affect the face of the Cambodian armed forces as well as the military sector and people who are honest and work hard for their country,” he said. “Therefore, those military commanders, deputy-commanders or military officials who are involved with such illegal activities must immediately withdraw themselves from their protection of the illegal businesses in Cambodia. Those who continue to commit it will be punished or fired from their positions in accordance with the military law,” he added.

The Premier went on to say that some people joined the military side as a part of their own business in order to take their military influence in promoting their business activities in Cambodia. He has also called on competent authorities to take immediate action to arrest those who have used his name’s influence (Hun Sen) or Hun’s family’s influence to commit their illegal business activities and other illegal acts in Cambodia.

“This is the time for reforming our military sector because if we do not take a strict measure or action against the corrupt military commanders or officials, we will not be able to reform our military side deeply in Cambodia,” he said. “I would like to appeal to all military leaders especially the Minister of National Defense and Commander-in-Chief of the Cambodian Royal Armed Forces to work hard. I hope that if we can do these successfully we then will able to strengthen Cambodia’s military quality as well as its prestige in the future,” he requested.

His Excellency Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, said that under the wisdom and clear leadership of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, so far the Ministry of Defense has been working hard in reforming the military sector in Cambodia.

The Deputy Prime Minister added that to reform the military sector, his ministry will continue its military strategy reform through paying attention to soldiers who are now staying along the borders in order to ensure peace and security stability in Cambodia and strengthening good cooperation and relation between the military side and relevant competent authorities; military capacity training; strategic military base constructions; sending troops to join the United Nations (UN) Peace Keeping Forces abroad and rescue the people in case there is a natural disaster in Cambodia as well as in the world; paying attention to human resources training both inside and outside the country; troop control, especially soldiers who are based in borders; recruit new troops; discipline strengthening; roads construction in remote areas or along borders; soldiers’ health, technical and logistic managements; and military regulatory preparations.

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