Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the Ministry of National Defence permission to recruit 600 new soldiers who will make up a trio of new battalions.
“I allowed the recruitment of 600 new soldiers to fulfil the framework of the newly established battalions under the Artillery Command of the General Command,” he said.
Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, told The Post on June 9 that the recruitment was appropriate given the new phase of military reforms taking place in Cambodia within separate domestic and international contexts.
Within the global context, Cambodia is a nation living at peace but a strong military is needed to deter any troubles that arise.
Peou said the recruitment would be for heavy weapons artillery battalions, which he said was important so that the country has soldiers trained with new technology and weapons.
“This is reality. Both powerful countries and developing countries are really upgrading their militaries, including weapons and armed forces. Cambodia is the same. The military exists to protect our national sovereignty and borders and we need new forces replacing the old and retired forces continuously,” he said.
On April 26, Prime Minister Hun Sen signed another decision that allowed the ministry to recruit 402 new soldiers to organise a medium-range air defence missile batallion under the Air Defence Command.
Earlier last month, the premier stressed that Cambodia did not need an air force with fighter jets for combat in the air, but only needed air defences, which he called a “sky net”.
Separately this year, the government also agreed to recruit 46,000 contract officials to serve in ministries and institutions, but did not allow recruiting new officials into the state employment framework to replace retiring officials, except for certain exempted institutions like the National Police, according to a letter signed by Minister of Civil Service Prum Sokha.