Cambodia’s Defense Ministry Stands Behind Order of Armed Forces to ‘Suppress’ Opposition Return

Cambodia’s Ministry of Defense on Tuesday defended minister Tea Banh ordering the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to use any means necessary to suppress the country’s opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), as its leaders prepare to return from exile next month.

Speaking in the capital Phnom Penh on Monday, Tea Banh said that acting CNRP President Sam Rainsy and other senior party officials had “crossed a red line” by “calling for a coup d’etat” against Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, and ordered their suppression, along with that of their supporters.

“In any place where there are incitements and the stirring up of society in any form that may impact our security, we must take direct measures to prevent them from strengthening their cause and creating full-fledged chaos,” he said, adding that it is the duty of the country’s security forces to “suppress [the CNRP] while their movement remains small!”

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