A Cambodian court has ordered the arrest of opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is locked in a bitter political fight with the prime minister.

The court ordered the arrest of Rainsy in connection with a defamation and incitement case brought by Foreign Minister Hor Namhong in 2008, which resulted in a conviction and a two-year jail sentence. Rainsy appealed the verdict in 2013 but lost. The conviction was never enforced and he continued to live freely in Cambodia, serving as the leader of his party in Parliament.

In issuing the arrest warrant Friday, the court ordered "all public forces to search for and arrest" Rainsy.

The opposition leader is currently on a trip to Japan and South Korea. He is scheduled to return on Nov. 16.