Provincial and Village Militia (Cambodia)

Country: Cambodia
Details of Formation: --
Details of Termination: In 1998 there were demands to disarm the provincial and village militias. In 1999, a news source reports that the Cambodian armed forces are under pressure for alleged human rights abused, and the provincial and village militias were included as being responsible for those. This news source article of 1999 was the last source that mentioned the group, though no news source explicitly stated that the group was terminated.
Purpose: The provincial and village militia served several purposes. In 1984 a news source mentions that they guarded infrastructures. Later, evidence suggest that they were used against the Khmer Rouge for counter-operations and intelligence gathering. In 1998, a news source reports that they were used by the CPP to intimidate voters. Relative benefits included that group members were living with their families and had a self-interest in fighting against the Khmer Rouge in case of an attack. Due to their local existence, they were also especially well-fit for gathering intelligence on possible infiltrations of the villages.
Organisation: During Vietnamese occupation, the provincial and village militia was under Vietnamese organisation and control. Later, they were controlled by the CPP (Cambodian People’s Party) of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Weapons and Training: The militias are equipped with rifles, including M-16 rifles. They received arms from the government and were trained by the Vietnamese, although the degree of training and equipment varies.
Size: A news source from April 1989 speaks of 100,000 members of the provincial and village militias. In June 1989 a source mentions that it is difficult to estimate the strength of the Cambodian army, including the militia units. It says that there were around 60,000 men but more could be summoned as needed. In November 1989, another news source mentions 200,000 civilians to be members of village militias.
Reason for Membership: --
Treatment of Civilians: The provincial and village militia has been accused of election-related human rights abuses, including threatening of civilians at gunpoint and beatings. They are considered to be among the worst violators of human rights in Cambodia.
Other Information: --
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD