Prime Minister Hun Sen last week appointed 14 high-ranking officials to a working group that is now responsible for overseeing his bodyguard unit during all events that he and his wife attend, the unit’s commander said Thursday.
General Hing Bun Heang, who leads the Prime Minister Bodyguard Unit (PMBU), said members of the working group had already been cooperating to protect the prime minister.
“Our forces have been doing this for a long time, but the decision was just officially issued,” he said.
Mr. Hun Sen signed the decision on February 26.
Gen. Bun Heang said the working group’s 14 members—including himself—would be expected to coordinate with one another to ensure the safety of the prime minister and his wife, Bun Rany.
“When…[they] go anywhere, we must go first to prepare the security there,” he said, adding that all members of the working group would be expected to be present when the PMBU is deployed.
“If we can’t go, we must appoint someone to go for us,” he added.
General You Sunlong, head of the working group and a secretary of state at the Public Function Ministry, could not be reached for comment.
In addition to Gen. Bun Heang and Gen. Sunlong, the group will also include Hun Manet, Mr. Hun Sen’s son and a lieutenant general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).
According to a copy of the decision, the working group will “cooperate with all levels of authority…on security and safety to prevent problems and accidents during all events” attended by Mr. Hun Sen and Ms. Rany.
It also calls on all ministries and the Council of Ministers to liaise with the working group when planning events for the prime minister and his wife.
Mr. Hun Sen formed the PMBU from soldiers of Brigade 70, an elite RCAF unit that has been linked to assassinations, abuses of power and illegal logging syndicates. The bodyguard unit is regarded as the best-equipped combat unit in the country and numbers in the thousands.