Cambodian PM Hun Sen orders armed forces not to use US made military equipment as spat between two countries escalates
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Friday ordered armed forces across the country to collect all U.S. made military weapons and materials to keep in caches or to have them burned down.
The move came after the United States on Wednesday imposed an arms embargo on Cambodia, banning the export of its military equipment to the southeast Asian nation.
"I'd like to order all military units to immediately check the military weapons and materials that Cambodia is currently using and to collect all the U.S. military weapons and materials, if found, to keep in caches or to have them destroyed based on practical situation," he wrote on his official Facebook page.
Hun Sen said that he has made a right decision since 1994 not to purchase the US military weapons and materials.
"This is a warning message to the Cambodian government in the next generations that if it wants independence in the defense sector, please do not use the US made weapons," he said.
The US government on Wednesday night (Dec 8 ) imposed an arms embargo on Cambodia, citing concerns about human rights and corruption in the southeast Asian nation as well as China's activities there, reported international medias.
The actions taken by the State and Commerce departments will "restrict" access to "less-sensitive military items" and "defense articles and defense services" by Cambodia's military and intelligence agencies, according to a statement.
"The United States remains fully committed to Cambodia's independence and the sovereignty of its people," Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.
"We urge the Cambodian government to make meaningful progress in addressing corruption and human rights abuses, and to work to reduce the influence of the (People's Republic of China) military in Cambodia, which threatens regional and global security."
In November, Washington sanctioned two Cambodian officials over a US-funded naval base that is increasingly being renovated for use by China, alleging corruption in the project.