Crisis looming? Soldiers, tanks deployed in Phnom Penh

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tanks in PPSoldiers and tanks have been stationed in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and other provinces on August 8 for the first time heavy armor has been deployed anywhere in the country other than the Thai border in a decade, the Cambodia Daily reported on August 9.

The move is seen as a reaction of the government after the July 28 elections to threats by the opposition it could take to the streets to protest the preliminary results of the poll that kept the ruling Cambodia People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen in power.

However, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces have denied any connection between movements of troops and the contested election result. They said tanks have been moved to the capital for “maintenance work” and troops were sent to “prevent thefts and petty crime.”

But on August 5, Cambodia’s Interior Minister Sar Kheng warned of unspecified “trouble” if the opposition did not return to negotiations over the investigation of voting irregularities. Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the opposition would be responsible for any violence from street protests.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy alleged on his Facebook page on August 8 that “this activity is happening by the order of a ruling person”, adding that “this is a golden opportunity for all of you to unite and stand up with our people and our National Rescue Youth to demand change and create a new government in 2013.”

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Soldiers and tanks have been stationed in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and other provinces on August 8 for the first time heavy armor has been deployed anywhere in the country other than the Thai border in a decade, the Cambodia Daily reported on August 9.

Reading Time: 1 minute

tanks in PPSoldiers and tanks have been stationed in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and other provinces on August 8 for the first time heavy armor has been deployed anywhere in the country other than the Thai border in a decade, the Cambodia Daily reported on August 9.

The move is seen as a reaction of the government after the July 28 elections to threats by the opposition it could take to the streets to protest the preliminary results of the poll that kept the ruling Cambodia People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen in power.

However, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces have denied any connection between movements of troops and the contested election result. They said tanks have been moved to the capital for “maintenance work” and troops were sent to “prevent thefts and petty crime.”

But on August 5, Cambodia’s Interior Minister Sar Kheng warned of unspecified “trouble” if the opposition did not return to negotiations over the investigation of voting irregularities. Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the opposition would be responsible for any violence from street protests.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy alleged on his Facebook page on August 8 that “this activity is happening by the order of a ruling person”, adding that “this is a golden opportunity for all of you to unite and stand up with our people and our National Rescue Youth to demand change and create a new government in 2013.”

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