Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Civil society needed in military reform

Civil society needed in military reform

Civil society needed in military reform

Following its inaugural workshop on civil and military relations held in the capital

December 2001, the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) has announced

it will hold ten similar meetings this year.

Dr Kao Kim Hourn, executive director of CICP, said closer contact between the military

and civil society was essential for reform of the armed forces.

"Successful military reform will require the engagement and cooperation of all

sectors of society: the military itself, the government and civil society,"

he told a press conference. "If there is no relationship with civil society,

the process of reform cannot be successful."

The CICP released a policy briefing at the press conference, which noted that past

demobilization efforts had not sufficiently involved civil society. Kim Hourn said

one reason civil society should be involved was that it provided for the needs of

demobilized soldiers and helped ensure they integrated successfully into society.

This helped minimize potential social problems, he said.

Problems could arise from the military's efforts to tackle demobilization at the

same time as it dealt with reform: civil society, said Kim Hourn, could help to predict

problems from this dual process and build trust between former soldiers and civilians.

"It is to early to say what those problems might be," he said. "It

could be something that happens in the next two or three years. We will research

the potential problems as part of our ongoing efforts."

Boua Chanthou, director of Partnership for Development in Kampuchea (PADEK), a local

NGO, said civil society did not discriminate between serving soldiers, former soldiers

or civilians when providing assistance.

"All the people in my project zone benefit from our efforts in such areas as

providing skills," she said. "Civil society exists to help everyone."

CICP will organize the workshops in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute

of International Affairs with support from USAID. The first workshop starts January

23.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth