Cambodia PM orders to destroy, store US weapons following arms embargo ban

Cambodia PM Hun Sen is not quite happy following an arms embargo ban by the United States last week and asked the country’s military to examine any US-made weapons or equipment in its possession to be stored in warehouses or destroyed, although the country has never acquired arms from the States under the current administration.

According to the Phnom Penh Post, PM Hun Sen stated in retaliation against the ban, “I’d like to take this occasion to express my gratitude to the United States for its decision to prohibit the transfer of arms and military equipment to Cambodia.”

The PM insisted that he is happy that he did not choose the military’s weapons systems over US models in 1994, joking that troops that were equipped with US-made weaponry tend to lose battles, citing Cambodia’s fall during the Khmer Rouge in 1975, when he asked for the independence of the country’s defense industry.

He also pointed out that Cambodia still has a massive debt to the United States for previous arms purchases, despite having been controlled by several governments since then.

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“Even recently, the losers in the Afghan conflict employed American weaponry. Rather than relying just on armaments, I shall place my faith in our troops’ courage, spirit, and desire to fight on the battlefield to maintain our territorial sovereignty.”

According to Defense Minister Tea Banh, the country has a small amount of US-made weaponry, which was all imported in the early 1970s.

“Yes, there are still US-made weapons in Cambodia since they were brought in during the period of (previous Prime Minister) Lon Nol, and there was a lot of weaponry.”

SOURCE: New Straits Times

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