With Cambodia intent on achieving its goal of “landmine free” status by 2025, demining work has taken on a larger scope with the involvement of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) in mine action missions.

Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), spoke of the progress on February 6 during a closing ceremony for a training course on procedures and operational information management, organised by the RCAF in collaboration with core trainers from CMAA.

“The government has set a long-term vision and a clear plan for a mine-free Cambodia by 2025. The participation of the armed forces in humanitarian demining activities is very important to achieving this vision,” he said.

He also instructed CMAA’s core trainers to share their experiences and provide in-depth training to all demining forces from the military and to put in maximum effort in practical training as well.

“The participation of the armed forces has solved the problem of Cambodia lacking the human resources to complete our demining work, and the CMAA is ready at all times to support and provide technical skills and equipment to the army,” he said.

Thuch also thanked RCAF deputy commander-in-chief Hun Manet for supporting demining work in Cambodia and for sending the armed forces to participate in demining work to achieve the goal.

Ouch Vantha, commander of the RCAF’s Engineering Corps, spoke highly of the training provided to the military in demining operations by the CMAA throughout 2022, and now in 2023.

“By the end of February, the armed forces plan to provide 29 more training courses to 29 brigades from Region 5, and even more training if needed. The training requires the knowledge of the core trainers from the CMAA and technical expertise from our national demining operators,” he said.

According to a report on the outcome of the skill training in methods to reduce the area of minefields and the use of GPS by demining operators, the training course lasted for three days from February 1 to 3 and more than 60 infantrymen were trained to take part in demining missions.

The training was conducted at the Army Engineering Command, located in Takeo province’s Bati district.