November 14, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Manet instructed all relevant institutions, including the National Counter-Terrorism Committee (NCTC), to review the preparation of legal standards, mechanisms and policies for the fight against terrorism, as well as disaster preparedness.
Manet issued the orders while attending a ceremony to mark the 28th Anniversary of the establishment of the Special Forces Command, held at its headquarters on November 10. The command was established on November 9, 1995.
He took the opportunity to thank and dedicate today’s achievements to the generations of heroes from the unit – as well as the entire Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – who have dedicated their lives to the cause of national defence, as well as the long journey to the peace and national unity which the Kingdom enjoys today.
He believed that while Cambodia no longer faces the threat of the large-scale fighting it saw in the past, it could not afford to be negligent regarding the threats to security posed by ongoing regional and global tensions.
“The fight against terrorism and against transnational crimes and our preparedness for natural disasters are examples of the new battles we face in the 21st century,” he said.
“The increasing frequency of these issues is a timely reminder of the importance of a special forces unit which is highly skilled and able to respond quickly to any situation which arises. This is their core mission, and the reason for establishing the Special Forces Command. I hope it will continue to play a vital role in the defence sector in the future,” he added.
“No one can guarantee that terrorism will not take place on Cambodian territory. We have prevented many cases when terrorists have planned attacks on our soil. We hope for the best, but must be prepared to respond to any scenario or incident,” he continued.
The prime minister advised all relevant institutions and the NCTC to review the preparation of legal standards and mechanisms to deal with potential threats.
“We have trained many highly skilled units, but the fight against terrorism is a complex one, with serious legal and diplomatic aspects. Sometimes attacks do not involve Cambodians or are not carried out by a foreign state, but may target foreigners. This is why we must have a committee made up of all pertinent institutions, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defence, and the Ministry of Interior,” he said.
Manet also instructed the special forces to intensify their training and step up their ability to respond to fires, flooding or building collapses.
In addition, he asked the defence ministry and the commands of all military units to pay close attention to current and future threats to security, public order and even cyberspace.
“We must be mindful of technology, because we are a modern military – even our vehicles all use sophisticated electronics.
Technology represents the future, as well as the present time, so we must embrace its use to increase our efficiency, but please bear in mind that this is two-sided. We must protect ourselves from potential threats,” he explained.
Addressing the ceremony, Sum Samnang, Commander of the Special Forces Command, noted that under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Manet, the seventh mandate government has raised Cambodia’s national prestige in the international arena, both regionally and globally.
Many foreign nations can clearly see the efforts that are being made in construction and development in all sectors, and recognise the Kingdom as an independent state, which respects the rule of law and multi-party liberal democracy, he said.
He reiterated the loyalty of the Special Forces to protecting the nation, religion and the King, and swore to defend the legitimate government, peace, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
Manet also used the occasion to share his wishes for the wider Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF). He announced that they must remain a highly professional military, which is absolutely loyal to the motherland and its people. They must adhere to all regulations, directives and applicable statutes, and maintain the dignity of the RCAF’s role as defenders of the motherland.
He advised all units to pay the utmost attention to ensuring that their use of resources and state assets is conducted in an efficient manner.
The prime minister urged all units to strengthen their training and develop their human resources – in terms of both quantity and quality – to serve the defence of the nation. In particular, he highlighted the need for them to strengthen both military and civilian skills, to ensure that the armed forces not only retain their capabilities, but also to ensure that its members will be valuable members of society when they leave service.
“All units should pay close attention to maintaining the readiness of all personnel and materials to provide support in the event of a natural disaster or other accident. They should do so with a proactive spirit, and cooperate closely with local authorities and other relevant government institutions.
“I also suggest that each unit promote the economic development of their bases, whether through farming or animal husbandry. This will improve their livelihoods and ensure their families are more comfortable. It will also improve their well-being and make them more productive in fulfilling their missions,” added Manet.