Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - 2016 brings spike in landmine deaths

2016 brings spike in landmine deaths

People carry a man through a field in a hammock earlier this month after he stepped on a landmine in Battambang province. Photo supplied
People carry a man through a field in a hammock earlier this month after he stepped on a landmine in Battambang province. Photo supplied

2016 brings spike in landmine deaths

The number of people killed in landmine incidents nearly doubled in the first half of the year, with 20 deaths compared to 11 for the same period in 2015, though injuries declined by almost half, from 55 to 29, according to the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA).

Nguon Monoketya, CMAA’s deputy director of socio-economic planning and database management, said part of the increase was borne by children.

“Data that our working group gathered suggests many kids are killed by playing with ordnance,” Monoketya said. The report shows seven children have been killed in the first half of the year versus just three for the same period in 2015.

The five provinces with the most casualties (deaths and injuries) are located in the country’s northwest region, accounting for 71 per cent of the country’s 49 incidents.

Banteay Meanchey leads the list with nine accidents resulting in four deaths, and is followed closely by Battambang (eight and three), which saw its number of incidents plummet from 23 this time last year.

Matthew Hovell, country director for demining NGO Halo Trust, said a reason for the increase in deaths is an internal migration happening near a road being built along the Thailand-Cambodia border, “which contains the densest anti-personal mine area in Cambodia. It’s bringing poor people looking for land, and they have no experience with landmines.”

The border area is the site of the infamous 1980s K5 defence project under the People’s Republic of Kampuchea regime, which saw mines liberally strewn in a bid to prevent the Khmer Rouge from regaining lost territory.

MOST VIEWED

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • US, Cambodia pledge to strengthen military ties

    The US on Tuesday pledged to help train military officers, particularly Cambodia’s blue helmet troops deployed for UN’s peacekeeping operations. The pledge was made during a meeting between US ambassador Patrick Murphy and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen. Further

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea