Six senior RCAF officials were promoted to four-star generals Monday, adding even more stars to the country’s 613 generals, who give Cambodia one of the highest chief to troop ratios in the world.
The promotions were handed by royal decree to RCAF Deputy Commander in Chief Kun Kim, Ministry of Defense Secretaries of State Chay Saing Yun, Moeng Samphan and Neang Phat; national defense adviser Chhim Om Yun, and former Funcinpec Defense Minister Tea Chamrath.
All six were previously three-star generals.
Defense Minister Tea Banh said Wednesday that the promotions were made in recognition of the years of service put in by all six men.
“The promotion has complied with the law,” Tea Banh said. “Their hard work has led to good achievements,” he said, adding that the new rank befitted of men of their age and experience.
Of the six, only Neang Phat could be contacted Wednesday, but he refused to comment on his promotion.
SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann, chairman of the National Assembly commission responsible for national defense, said the men were promoted for political reasons and not for their industriousness.
“It was a political promotion,” he said, joking that there are currently more generals than combat soldiers in the Cambodian military.
Tea Banh denied that politics had anything to do with the men receiving their new rank.
“We didn’t promote only CPP officials,” he said.
He also dismissed Yim Sovann’s claim that the military had too many generals.
In March 2006, Tea Banh said that RCAF had 613 one-to-four-star generals, or one general for every 179 of Cambodia’s approximately 110,000 troops.