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Forces ready to apprehend Rainsy: Interior Ministry

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
General Khieu Sopheak works in his office. Supplied

Security forces will intercept Sam Rainsy if his plan to return to the Kingdom on November 9 materialises.


Mr Rainsy has vowed to return to the Kingdom to restore democracy and champion human rights as part of his “nine fingers” campaign, a move considered to be coup by the government.

General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, yesterday said during a workshop on digital media at the Council of Ministers that the government has prepared land, air and water forces to put handcuffs on Mr Rainsy.

Gen Sopheak said forces will mainly monitor locations in the provinces of Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey and Battambang.

He said the government has informed neighbouring countries to intercept Mr Rainsy and his supporters, noting countries such as Thailand will cooperate.

“Our experts said Sam Rainsy and his group can come to Cambodia through the Poipet International Checkpoint,” Gen Sopheak said.

He noted that Mr Rainsy and his supporters will be arrested and detained at a “five-star hotel” in Preah Vihear.

Gen Sopheak said so far nearly 50 people have been arrested for being linked to Mr Rainsy’s coup plans.

He said local police officers must not question orders and instead act to arrest Mr Rainsy as soon as the word is given, while other law enforcement agencies must continue to monitor the social media accounts of Mr Rainsy and his allies.

Kim Santepheap, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry, said Mr Rainsy is leading a rebel group and wants to topple the government.

Mr Santepheap said coup supporters must turn themselves in and confess to police to avoid being detained.

“They won’t be arrested if they come and confess in front of the authorities before charges are laid,” he said.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng last week said it is the only way for Mr Rainsy’s supporters to avoid being sent to jail.

“There is no other choice…as you know many of them have confessed and sought clemency,” Mr Kheng said. “Sam Rainsy’s arrival aims to create war. We are going to celebrate Independence Day and Water Festival, but he plans to come and cause insecurity.”

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