June 19, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Sen has commanded heightened security, especially along Cambodia’s northwestern border with Vietnam, in response to possible incursions from ‘ethnic minority insurgent groups’. This comes following an attack by the Montagnard group on two Vietnamese communes, leading to multiple fatalities.
“The group is losing and may attempt to infiltrate Cambodia,” stated Hun Sen, during a meeting with factory workers in Kampong Cham province’s Cheung Prey district on June 16.
Directives were issued to the police and military forces in Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, and Kratie provinces to reinforce security and collaborate with Vietnamese authorities to thwart possible border breaches.
“There’s potential for ringleaders to be within Cambodia, as coordinating orders from China, Vietnam, or Thailand is impossible. We’ve learnt from previous experiences with the Montagnard group,” Hun Sen cautioned.
The Prime Minister also put provinces such as Tbong Khmum, Prey Veng, and Kampong Cham on high alert. Furthermore, he warned international NGOs operating in Cambodia against harbouring these ‘insurgents’, with the risk of expulsion.
“Any NGO involvement with this criminal group implies complicity in crimes against the Vietnamese. We could shut down your Phnom Penh offices for such transgressions,” he remarked.
He emphasised that Cambodia would not be a conduit for arms trafficking by Vietnam-based armed groups. Promoting mutual respect and cooperation, Hun Sen asserted: “In keeping with our international commitments, we will not permit any armed groups to utilise our territory as a base against other nations”.