Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Manith heads new intelligence unit

Hun Manith heads new intelligence unit

Hun Manith photographed at the ceremony where he was appointed director of the General Directorate of Intelligence.
Hun Manith photographed at the ceremony where he was appointed director of the General Directorate of Intelligence. Photo supplied

Hun Manith heads new intelligence unit

Hun Manith, son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, was given an expanded role in Cambodia’s intelligence network on Wednesday, heading a new intelligence unit that will be under direct control of the Ministry of Defence.

On Wednesday, Manith was promoted to general director of the new General Directorate of Intelligence, which was inaugurated that same day, according to a ministry statement yesterday.

The commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, Pol Saroeun, formally announced the creation of the new directorate, which has been planned since October, and Manith’s role at its helm.

“General Pol Saroeun expressed his admiration [for Manith],” the statement reads, adding Manith will have a “major role to play” in investigating, collecting and analysing information and activity, particularly in anticipation of the 2018 vote.

Ministry of Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat said via text yesterday the organisation’s role and responsibilities would not differ much from the previous Intelligence Department, but would be “under control by defence ministry directly”.

Analyst Meas Ny said the move appeared to be an attempt at further consolidation of power by Hun Sen by granting his son more control of the armed forces.

“They want to ensure that no one is out of control of the army command . . . and ensure the army is staying loyal,” Ny said.

Ny added that the development was particularly troubling given the reference to the 2018 election and the government’s penchant for warning of the possibility of war should the CPP lose power.

“The opposition has no army . . . the Prime Minister has argued again and again that there will be a state of war if CPP loses the election.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Bumpy road for local ride apps

    Ride-hailing services seem to have grown into a dominant player in the capital’s transportation sector. Relatively unknown and little used in the Kingdom at the beginning of this year, services like PassApp, Grab and ExNet are now commonplace on Phnom Penh streets. However, the

  • Hun Sen lays out party’s platform

    Caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday credited liberating Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge as among the reasons why people will vote for his ruling Cambodian People Party (CPP) in the July 29 national elections. Hun Sen, who has held the reins of power in Cambodia