The Bodyguard Unit has played an active role in ensuring peace, stability, public order and social security, important foundations for ensuring the development of the nation, Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has said.

Tea Banh’s remarks came as part of a congratulatory message on September 2 ahead of the 13th anniversary of the establishment of the Bodyguard Unit and the 32nd of its precursor the 246th Battalion.

He said the defence ministry has always placed a strong focus on enhancing the Bodyguard Unit, supporting the modernising of the force with the highest levels of professionalism.

“This great day full of historical meaning is one on which we commemorate the history, activities, missions and proud achievements of the Bodyguard

Unit, whose members have sacrificed flesh and blood to serve the motherland, and protect the wellbeing of her people.

“The heroic deeds of the senior officials of the Bodyguard Unit across the years are invaluable examples for planting ideals, spirit, will and patriotism in future generations to ensure security for the nation.

“I consider their sacrifices in protecting peace for the nation as the highest honour and a source of national pride,” he said.

While today Cambodia is at peace, national development demanded continued security and social order, he added.

Lieutenant General Hun Manet, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, spoke at a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the Bodyguard Unit’s establishment on September 4.

“For more than 40 years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia has faced many difficult obstacles in the process of rebuilding and developing.

“Great efforts have been made to ensure the establishment of a peaceful, stable, secure and orderly political environment as the basis for economic development.

“Some important national achievements cannot be separated from the great sacrifices of the RCAF and the Bodyguard Unit in providing security and safety to the head of the government for ensuring the stability of the country’s leadership,” Manet said.

Manet expressed his appreciation to both the leaders and soldiers of the Bodyguard Unit, who in addition to their core duty of providing security for the head of government and national and international leaders, also protected Cambodia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Bodyguard Unit has also assisted in a number of humanitarian incidents across the country over the years, including pumping water into rice fields, transporting food during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and transferring migrant workers from abroad.

It has recently been involved in the planting of tree saplings to replenish the Phnom Tamao forest area – where a zoological park and adjacent sanctuary are located – in Takeo province’s Bati district following the annulment of land swap deals that had seen swathes of the area cleared for development.