Ex-Militia Members Honored

A total of 1,366 former militia members have received medals one year after they were demobilized, said a top Takeo province official.

The former soldiers are being honored for serving in the Peo­ple’s Re­public of Kampuchea provincial militias, which were in charge of security in villages and communes.

They also were honored for fighting the Khmer Rouge during the 20-year civil war, said Kep Chuk­tema, governor of Takeo pro­vince.

“We have bestowed this award on them. We need to encourage them,” Kep Chuktema said. “I hope our officials will give med­als to honor all the militiamen of all 10 districts in Takeo province.”

The provincial militias were formed after the Pol Pot regime collapsed in 1979, when the Peo­ple’s Republic of Kampuchea took charge of Cambodia. The militias have long been controversial. Perceived as being strong CPP sup­porters, they have been ac­cused by Funcinpec and Sam Rainsy Party members of intimidating villagers during election campaigns.

In December 2000, some 30,000 militia nationwide were trans­ferred from the Ministry of De­­fense to the Ministry of In­terior. The transfer was made to help RCAF reach its goal for demobilization.

The move to demobilize the militia was started last year. Unlike demobilized soldiers, who will receive $243 plus rice and household goods, the former militia receive only the medals. When the militiamen worked for the Defense Ministry, they earned $2.80 per month.

In Bati district, 280 militia received medals. Militia in Koh Andet, Prey Kabbas and Donkeo districts received a total of 280 medals.



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