Banh Says Military Shows Bias Toward the Gov’t

Defense Minister Tea Banh joked Tuesday that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) are “biased to the right people” in protecting the government from destabilizing political agitators.

Speaking at the annual review of the military’s activities at the Defense Ministry, General Banh said the armed forces are politically neutral but must protect the stability of the government.

“The most important thing is to keep political stability…and the RCAF plays a key role in contributing to this work,” he said.

“We provide security for all people, it does not matter who is who.”

Gen. Banh complained that some accuse RCAF of bias toward the ruling CPP, but said the military is only serving the legitimate government.

“There are some ill-intended people always speaking that we take this side or that side, and we find it hard to explain it to them…. When they wear these colored glasses, their glasses make them see what they want to see,” Gen. Banh said.

“For the word bias, we have to clearly analyze whether we are biased to the right people or the wrong people, and therefore it is clear the RCAF’s stance states clearly that it protects the constitutional, sovereign and legitimate people.”

Prime Minister Hun Sen last week delivered a similar message to police at the Interior Ministry’s annual review, explaining that protection of the government is its paramount responsibility.

“The military, police, military police, and all civil administrators cannot be neutral between parties and the state,” Mr. Hun Sen said.

“If the parties fight with each other, all of you can go to stop the dispute by not taking sides,” Mr. Hun Sen added. “But when one party violates the state, it will be a quick response.”

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