The Royal Government on Feb 27 backed away from threats made by Prime Minister Hun
Sen in January to expel the environmental watchdog organization Global Witness (GW)
from Cambodia. GW, the official Independent Monitor of the donor-funded Forest Crime
Monitoring Unit, resolved the impasse with an apology from GW Director Patrick Alley
for the timing of the release of a report that stated illegal logging had increased
across Cambodia. Hun Sen made the threats in an emotional outburst during a donors
consultative group meeting in Phnom Penh on Jan 31. Hun Sen followed up those threats
with a Feb 22 statement that accused GW of conspiring with Thai military officials
to facilitate illegal imports of Cambodian timber to discredit the Cambodian government.
GW dismissed the allegation.