Cambodia’s army chief accuses CNRP of preparing to wage war against government

  • Cambodians ride motorbikes past the hardquarters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in Phnom Penh on October 6, 2017. The Cambodian government on October 6 asked the country’s top court to dissolve the embattled opposition party whose leader has been thrown in jail for alleged treason charges, lawyers said. / AFP PHOTO / TANG CHHIN SOTHY

The commander-in-chief of the Cambodian armed forces Pol Saroeun on Tuesday (Jan 2) accused the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of preparing armed forces along the Cambodian-Thai border to wage war against the government, The Phnom Penh Post Online reported.

“The 118 members (of CNRP) sill have the idea that they will prepare armed forces along the Cambodia-Thailand border as in the civil war era,” said Saroeun at the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ year-end review.

The army chief said that the government’s chief achievement in 2017 was to destroy the colour revolution plan in Cambodia.

But Saroeun did not offer any evidence to back up his outlandish accusation against the CNRP which, for years, has been committed to non-violence even in the face of sometimes bloody crackdowns on its demonstrators by the government.

In his speech on Tuesday, the army chief attributed the purportedly robust tourism to the dissolution of the opposition CNRP.

“This is the success of the prevention of colour revolution, and it is inarguable and it is the truth,” said Saroeun.

Despite his allegation of the opposition’s war preparations, he stressed that there would not be “rebirth” of the CNRP.

Former deputy president of CNRP Mu Suchua on Tuesday brushed off Saroeun’s baseless accusation as propaganda meant to justify violence in response to any protests that may arise.

Political analyst Meas Nee said Saroeun’s remarks were political manipulation.