Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Manith heads new intelligence unit

Hun Manith heads new intelligence unit

Hun Manith photographed at the ceremony where he was appointed director of the General Directorate of Intelligence.
Hun Manith photographed at the ceremony where he was appointed director of the General Directorate of Intelligence. Photo supplied

Hun Manith heads new intelligence unit

Hun Manith, son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, was given an expanded role in Cambodia’s intelligence network on Wednesday, heading a new intelligence unit that will be under direct control of the Ministry of Defence.

On Wednesday, Manith was promoted to general director of the new General Directorate of Intelligence, which was inaugurated that same day, according to a ministry statement yesterday.

The commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, Pol Saroeun, formally announced the creation of the new directorate, which has been planned since October, and Manith’s role at its helm.

“General Pol Saroeun expressed his admiration [for Manith],” the statement reads, adding Manith will have a “major role to play” in investigating, collecting and analysing information and activity, particularly in anticipation of the 2018 vote.

Ministry of Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat said via text yesterday the organisation’s role and responsibilities would not differ much from the previous Intelligence Department, but would be “under control by defence ministry directly”.

Analyst Meas Ny said the move appeared to be an attempt at further consolidation of power by Hun Sen by granting his son more control of the armed forces.

“They want to ensure that no one is out of control of the army command . . . and ensure the army is staying loyal,” Ny said.

Ny added that the development was particularly troubling given the reference to the 2018 election and the government’s penchant for warning of the possibility of war should the CPP lose power.

“The opposition has no army . . . the Prime Minister has argued again and again that there will be a state of war if CPP loses the election.”

MOST VIEWED

  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Hun Sen’s rare visit to Cuba: What’s going on?

    Back on August 17, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he would deliver a speech at the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in the US’ New York City, visit Cuba and attend the state funeral of the slain Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo