RCAF Promoted Hundreds Ahead of Election

The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) promoted 341 officers to new positions within the army in the month leading up to the July 28 election, according to recently published issues of the Royal Gazette.

Dy Phan, a cousin of Prime Minister Hun Sen, was one of 17 major generals promoted to lieutenant general by royal decrees signed between July 2 and July 25, according to issues of the Gazette published over the past two weeks.

Another 173 officers were promoted from brigadier general to major general, and 151 from colonel to brigadier general.

The promotions bring to 501 the number of RCAF officers who received a new general’s rank since mid-June.

Lt. Gen. Phan was director of Thai-Cambodian border relations for RCAF until he left the post some time last year and was made vice chairman of the military’s joint staff on July 23, two days before his promotion.

“I was promoted a rank because I think the Defense Ministry believes in me,” he said.

Lieutenant General Meas Sam Ol, director of the ministry’s personnel department, declined to comment on the promotions. RCAF Commander General Pol Saroeun and joint staff chairman General Kun Kim also declined.

Mr. Hun Sen’s two eldest sons were also among those promoted in June. His eldest son, Hun Manet, was promoted to lieutenant general on June 19 and Mr. Hun Sen’s second son, Hun Manith, was promoted to brigadier general on June 12.

In addition to helping the prime minister tighten his grip on the military, analysts have attributed the country’s bloated officer corps to the government’s efforts to maintain the military’s loyalty.

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