CAMBODIA’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has condemned the killings of four peacekeepers in the Central African Republic and warned of “civil war” if his ruling party is not victorious in forthcoming elections, during an address to a crowd of 3,000 soldiers on Veterans Day.
The former Khmer Rouge guerrilla Hun Sen, who recently returned from a stint in hospital in Singapore, declared that the achievements of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) needed to be defended and “must win elections, every election.”
“Don’t let the 2013 situation happen again, both before the election and after the election,” warned Hun Sen, as quoted by The Phnom Penh Post.
In 2013, a number of opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) supporters were killed after widespread accusations of electoral fraud in the national election.
“Remember in the 2017 and 2018 [elections], if your group does such activities again, the armed forces will crack down immediately. If war happens, let it be,” said Hun Sen.
Political tension has been increasing in Cambodia in recent months as opponents of the PM accuse him of unfair maneuvering to maintain his grip on power in local elections in June and a general election next year. Hun Sen is one of the longest serving world leaders on the planet.
On Monday this week, four United Nations peacekeepers from Cambodia were killed in the Central African Republic.
In his address on Veterans Day, Hun Sen added that: “Cambodia will continue to send peacekeepers abroad—we shall never be defeated by the acts of terrorism.”