Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - More than 300 RCAF officers promoted, including 178 new generals



More than 300 RCAF officers promoted, including 178 new generals

Defence Minister Tea Banh arrives at the army’s 63rd anniversary celebrations in 2016.
Defence Minister Tea Banh arrives at the army’s 63rd anniversary celebrations in 2016. Heng Chivoan

More than 300 RCAF officers promoted, including 178 new generals

The King has signed off on promotions for more than 300 Royal Cambodian Armed Forces officers in December and January, including at least six generals who recently joined the ruling CPP’s Central Committee.

The mass military promotion – the second so far this year – brings the number of new generals minted over the past 11 months to nearly 800.

According to the most recent Royal Book, three officers were promoted to four-star general, 13 were promoted to three-star general and 114 were promoted to two-star general. Another 178 were promoted to one-star general.

Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan defended the promotions of the CPP Central Committee members as “normal”, and said they were made at the request of the army.

“When people become members of the Central Committee, it means that they have achievements and enough qualifications,” Eysan said, explaining that the ruling party tries to promote standout members in government roles.

“This gives them encouragement,” he said.

Political analysts have criticised Cambodia’s regular mass military promotions as nepotistic and a way of currying political favour, with insiders estimating as many as 3,000 generals in the RCAF ranks.
By way of comparison, the number of generals in the US military – one of the largest in the world – is capped by law at 653.

Last month, Defence Minister Tea Banh admitted military promotions have not always been “evaluated transparently”.

Jon Grevatt, Asia-Pacific defence industry analyst for military publication IHS Jane’s, said Hun Sen appeared to be strengthening his power base amid a tense political climate.

“He probably has concerns that there could be other political uprisings or groups willing to challenge his authority, and he needs the military on his side,” Grevatt said.

The three newly minted four-star generals – Mey Morn Dary, Uy Sarin and Dam Dararith – all became members of the CPP Central Committee in January, according to a list released after the party’s annual congress.

Three of the newly minted three-star generals – Khieu Sophat, Thiep Horn and Hean Sovann – were also among the new party inductees.

Defence Ministry spokesman Chum Socheat could not be reached yesterday.

However, former CNRP lawmaker Cheam Channy, who worked on defence issues for the now-dissolved opposition party, said the inflated promotions were a longstanding hallmark of the Cambodian armed forces. “This is to encourage people to protect the government’s interests and to protect its power,” Channy said.

Additional reporting by Daphne Chen

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF