A long column of military trucks spotted traveling north along National Road 6 on Wednesday—sparking a flurry of speculation on social media—was merely facilitating routine troop rotations, according to the Ministry of Defense.
The truck deployment, captured in a video shared widely on Facebook, followed tank convoys that moved toward Phnom Penh in the days before and after Sunday’s massive funeral procession for slain political activist Kem Ley.
Defense Ministry spokesman Chhum Sucheat said the 21 trucks seen in Wednesday’s video were carrying large numbers of troops to relieve soldiers at risk of contracting malaria at their posts in the provinces.
“It is very normal to move armed forces because we worry about their health,” General Sucheat said. “In the rainy season, armed forces are switched out about every three months.”
The trucks traveled through Kandal, Kompong Cham, Kompong Thom and Siem Reap provinces, he said, refusing to reveal their origin or final destination.
Gen. Sucheat also declined to say how many troops were being rotated or why trucks had not been spotted traveling south—details that he said were “secrets of the armed forces.”