The Minister of National Defence General Tea Seiha has instructed all units of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to strengthen the protection of sovereignty, and territorial integrity and effectively suppress all crimes in the land and sea border areas.
His instruction was made during the recent meeting to review the draft summary report for 2023 and the implementation direction for 2024 for the defence sector held at the ministry.
The meeting was attended by RCAF Commander-in-Chief General Vong Pisen, National Military Police Commander General Sao Sokha, Royal Cambodian Army Commander (RCA) General Mao Sophan, Royal Cambodian Navy (RCN) Commander Admiral Tea Vinh, and Royal Cambodian Air Force Commander General Soeung Samnang, among other senior military officials.
For 2024, Gen Seiha has set the direction for all units of the RCAF to continue to strengthen the protection of sovereignty and prevention and suppression of all transnational crimes with neighbouring countries of Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
“At the same time, we must continue to have better cooperation with neighbouring countries and resolve peacefully any issues that arise,” he said.
Gen Seiha, who is also a Deputy Prime Minister, reminded all relevant institutions, especially the national police, the bodyguard unit and the commanders of the army, navy and air force to strengthen the work of psychological education.
He instructed them to work closely with all authorities to maintain security and order and maintain protection for the head of the government as well as the leaders of national and international delegations who come to visit and work in Cambodia.
In the meantime, Gen Seiha also highlighted some achievements in 2023, saying last year has been an important period, with many major national and international events.
The RCAF and the Ministry have played an important role in contributing to the new government in the development of society after more than two problematic years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
During this period, RCAF also undertook reforms, including continuing to revise and establish several frameworks in line with the immediate and strategic needs, as well as paying attention to managing and strengthening the capacity of all military personnel, he added.
In its recent report, RCAF said with the cooperation of the National and the Military Police along with local authorities, it has cracked down on 3,411 crime this year. Also, the RCAF has independently dealt with 1,984 crimes, leading to prosecution.
In September last year the ministry said the RCAF reformed in line with the government’s Pentagonal Strategy aimed at achieving the Cambodia Vision 2050. A strategy was launched by Prime Minister Hun Manet to make Cambodia an upper-middle-income economy by 2030 and a high-income economy by 2050, Gen Seiha said.
During the meeting, Lieutenant General Chan Sarang, the Ministry’s Deputy Secretary General, highlighted the important events that took place in Cambodia last year. He noted the first-ever Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Border Defence Friendship Exchange in December.
The success of the fifth Cambodia-China ‘Golden Dragon’ joint military exercise in March and April, a 10-day multinational training session focusing on landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) removal under the theme “Pure Homeland-2023” within the framework of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus); and Cambodia-China joint humanitarian exercise code-named “Peace Angel-2023” in September.
The 13-day long joint exercise dubbed “Angel of Peace” at the Army Special Forces Command in Phnom Penh, celebrated the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Cambodia while the Golden Dragon Exercise 2023 was participated by over 3,000 Cambodian and Chinese armed forces personnel.
At least 583 RCAF personnel and 257 soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) directly participated in the joint exercise with more than 2,000 support personnel.