Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Redundant soldiers get job training, land



Redundant soldiers get job training, land

Redundant soldiers get job training, land

A BOUT 10,000 soldiers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) are likely to be demobilized next year in the first major step of the government's military reform program.

Co-Minister of Defense Tea Banh said he hoped to shed about 10,000 of the army's 120,000 soldiers.

"The following years we will reduce more and more, if the Khmer Rouge is weakened," he said. "I want my army to be smaller, better, more efficient and professional."

Demobilized soldiers would receive vocational training in areas such as agricultural, technical, mechanical and handicraft skills at eight training centres to be set up.

Tea Banh said the Ministry of Defense had allocated about 600,000 hectares of land for demobilized soldiers throughout the country. Those who wanted to take up farming would receive between half a hectare and one hectare each.

A total of 328 people would soon start six months' training to become vocational skills instructors, to teach those who left the army's ranks.

The minister would not say how much money would be spent on the training centers, nor how much demobilized soldiers would be given to leave the army and undergo training. But he confirmed the money would come out of the extra 40 billion riels (US $16 million) recently allocated to the ministry in the Revised Budget Law.

Tea Banh rejected the suggestion there was any contradiction between the demobilization plan and the government's bid to introduce compulsory conscription.

The Post reported in its last issue that about 30,000 Khmer men are likely to be affected by a draft conscription law, soon to go before the National Assembly, which would require them to serve 18 months in the army, navy or air force.

The minister said conscription would increase the number of Khmer men with military skills, to be called upon to fight if needed, and who could be given vocational training as well.

"Each country has to have soldiers to defend it. (But) conscription does not mean we have to fight and demobilization does not mean we do not have to fight."

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he