Cambodia kicks out US aid programme

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Cambodian government scrapped a long-standing U.S. military development aid programme and ordered its members to leave the country.

Phnom Penh has asked the US Navy Mobile Construction Battalion — known as the Seabees — to leave without explanation, the US embassy in Cambodia said.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia notified the Embassy last week of its decision to postpone indefinitely the mission of the US Navy Mobile Construction Battalion which has been carrying out community service projects in underserved areas of Cambodia since 2008. The Cambodian government did not offer a reason for this decision,” Jay Raman, spokesman for the US Embassy said.

The Navy unit specialised in humanitarian work, deploying a total of $5 million in construction projects in communities, including the construction of maternity wards, water wells  and school bathrooms. The initiative ran for nine years.

The US military has been increasingly shut out of Cambodia over the past months. The annual “Angkor Sentinel” joint exercises with the US Army were suspended in January until at least 2019, while “Carat” drills with the US Navy were also dropped. The Cambodian government justified the change by saying it needed to focus its forces on security for the upcoming elections.

However, the move is widely interpreted as another step by Cambodia to shift closer towards China, which has showered the country with aid and military equipment in recent years and does not demand that Cambodia uphold human rights or democracy. In December, a nine-day joint Chinese-Cambodian military exercise, “Golden Dragon 2016,” marshalled 1,000 soldiers.

Furthermore, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen’s 3,000-strong prime ministerial bodyguard, a private army equipped with armoured personnel carriers, missile launchers and Chinese-made machine guns, in 2010 formed an unusual “military-commercial alliance” with a Chinese-controlled company.

Huns Sen also recently officially thanked China for a $150-million grant for the construction of a new sports stadium in Phnom Penh.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Cambodian government scrapped a long-standing U.S. military development aid programme and ordered its members to leave the country.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Cambodian government scrapped a long-standing U.S. military development aid programme and ordered its members to leave the country.

Phnom Penh has asked the US Navy Mobile Construction Battalion — known as the Seabees — to leave without explanation, the US embassy in Cambodia said.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia notified the Embassy last week of its decision to postpone indefinitely the mission of the US Navy Mobile Construction Battalion which has been carrying out community service projects in underserved areas of Cambodia since 2008. The Cambodian government did not offer a reason for this decision,” Jay Raman, spokesman for the US Embassy said.

The Navy unit specialised in humanitarian work, deploying a total of $5 million in construction projects in communities, including the construction of maternity wards, water wells  and school bathrooms. The initiative ran for nine years.

The US military has been increasingly shut out of Cambodia over the past months. The annual “Angkor Sentinel” joint exercises with the US Army were suspended in January until at least 2019, while “Carat” drills with the US Navy were also dropped. The Cambodian government justified the change by saying it needed to focus its forces on security for the upcoming elections.

However, the move is widely interpreted as another step by Cambodia to shift closer towards China, which has showered the country with aid and military equipment in recent years and does not demand that Cambodia uphold human rights or democracy. In December, a nine-day joint Chinese-Cambodian military exercise, “Golden Dragon 2016,” marshalled 1,000 soldiers.

Furthermore, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen’s 3,000-strong prime ministerial bodyguard, a private army equipped with armoured personnel carriers, missile launchers and Chinese-made machine guns, in 2010 formed an unusual “military-commercial alliance” with a Chinese-controlled company.

Huns Sen also recently officially thanked China for a $150-million grant for the construction of a new sports stadium in Phnom Penh.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid