In its fourth round of promotions this year, the government has approved the more than 100 increases in rank for the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, elevating 87 officers to the level of one-star brigadier general and promoting 27 to two-star major general.
The promotions were announced in the June edition of the Royal Gazette and add to the already-bloated upper echelons of the armed forces, with estimates putting the number of Cambodian generals anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000.
The moves comes shortly after the promotion of more than 400 army colonels months shy of the June commune elections, an initiative started last year to elevate soldiers who had served since before 1979.
Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat could not be reached yesterday. However, Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Cheam Channy, who was last year placed in charge of the opposition’s interior and defence committee, said promotions should only be given when warranted.
“What we have noticed is that some soldiers who have longed served the nation have been not promoted and only the younger ones have been, through connections and money,” Channy said.
He added that merely adding stars to a soldier’s epaulet would not only dilute the honour of being named a general over time, but did little to improve the salaries and livelihoods of members of the armed forces.