PRIME Minister Hun Sen on Saturday called on officials across the Kingdom to arrange support for troops of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) stationed along the Thai-Cambodian border.
Speaking at the opening of new military buildings in Battambang province’s RCAF Region 5, Hun Sen said he hoped businesses in Phnom Penh and outside would partner with military units to support their activities. Businesses are to provide the units with food, medicine and other supplies, he said.
“Today, I would like to recommend that all provincial governors look for private companies in their province who can partner with military units at the provincial level,” Hun Sen said.
“The national defense movement after the encroachment on July 15, 2008, is a huge movement for the nation,” he added, referring to the dispute with Thailand over territory surrounding Preah Vihear temple.
Meas Yoeun, deputy RCAF commander for Preah Vihear province, applauded the new initiative, saying it would give a significant boost to troop morale.
“I think this is a good idea that will provide huge encouragement to the soldiers,” Meas Yoeun said.
During a trip to the border last month, Hun Sen offered harsh criticism of Thailand and its prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, challenging him to “swear on magic that could break your neck” that Thai troops had not invaded Cambodian territory in 2008, when tensions over competing territorial claims near Preah Vihear temple erupted into violence.
Although he called for additional supplies for troops stationed near the border, Hun Sen also said that Cambodia does not plan to provoke conflict with Thailand.
“The solution for achieving peace is communication, cooperation, and developing the long border, but any form of encroachment is unacceptable,” Hun Sen said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KHUON LEAKHANA