Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCAF promotions frozen

RCAF promotions frozen

RCAF promotions frozen

Officers on the fast track to the upper ranks of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces are about to hit a speed bump.

The Ministry of Defence has decided to temporarily suspend RCAF promotions because of what they say is a gap between some officers’ ranks and their levels of knowledge and experience.

Defence Minister Tea Banh, speaking at yesterday’s 58th RCAF anniversary, said the number of officers being promoted to the rank of general had been drastically increasing, comparing it to the flurry of promot-ions that followed the integration of combatant forces in 1993.

“Because the ranks are higher than the actual knowledge and experience of the individual military officials, we have to suspend promotions temporarily and wait until their knowledge and experience catch up with their rank,” Tea Banh said.

He said the experience gap had sometimes made it difficult for the RCAF to work with the militaries of other countries, particularly in cases where officers were teamed with counterparts of equal rank but widely different levels of experience.

“Working with the foreign armed forces, sometimes [our officers] are not credited as having equal rank with them,” Tea Banh said, adding that they sometimes struggled to win respect.

Tea Banh declined to give recent statistics regarding promotions to the rank of general, but said there had been inflation in ranks.

In April alone, 47 brigadier (or one-star) generals were minted, including Hun Manet, the son of Prime Minister Hun Sen. That same month, seven others were promoted to lieutenant-general (three-star) and 11 were upped to major-general (two-star).

Yim Sovann, spokesman of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said many generals had been promoted via nepotism and bribery.

“I respect individual generals who have experience on the battlefield and protect the interests of the nat-ion, but not the generals promoted through nepotism, partisanship and bribery,” he said.

During his address at the RCAF anniversary ceremony, Tea Banh also addressed the unsettled troop issues around the disputed Preah Vihear temple area, saying that the Cambodia-Thai General Border Committee meeting to discuss the withdrawal of troops from the demilitarised zone had been postponed because of the disastrous floods plaguing both Cambodia and Thailand.

“So far, there is no exact date set for the GBC meeting,” he said.

The withdrawal by both sides was ordered by the International Court of Justice in a July ruling.


  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and