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CMAA meet deminers to plan operations

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CMAA’s Ly Thuch meets with operators on the preparation and zoning of demining areas on December 26. CMAA

CMAA meet deminers to plan operations

The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and national and international demining operators met on December 26 to review operations and designate target areas for each operator.

Participants included the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces (NPMEC), Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), Halo Trust, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Norwegian People’s Aid, Cambodian Self Help Demining and APOPO.

The meeting was held at the CMAA headquarters, under the chairmanship of CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch.

The meeting was aimed at accelerating demining work in line with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s vision of a mine-free Cambodia in 2025, Thuch said.

The meeting focused on setting the deployment locations of each operator, both in the present and in future, to enable the CMAA to maximise the impact of all available resources.

“On behalf of the prime minister, I would like to express my gratitude to the national and international operators that are actively involved in demining work in Cambodia. They have achieved spectacular successes in the past,” he said.

Thuch added that their achievements were made with the support of the government and its development partners. He requested that all national and international operators continue to mobilise additional resources to support and accelerate demining work in the Kingdom.

He said all of the operators committed to deploying their forces across the remaining 370sq km of mine-infected land as soon as possible. Using resources from development partners and the “Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Fund”, they expect to succeed in their plans.

On December 26, Hun Sen requested military assistance from the Chinese government to assist the Cambodian army’s demining operations.

“I want to accelerate the clearance of the remaining mines. When I met with China’s defence minister [Wei Fenghe], I not only requested demining aid but also suggested that he deploy Chinese military personnel to support our deminers as they work to make the Kingdom mine-free by 2025,” he said

Hun Manet, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the RCAF and Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, said in mid-December that the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) over the past 30 years was a great achievement. Thousands of square kilometres of ground was cleared and more than a million mines were destroyed.

He said the achievement was not only valuable in terms of numbers, but also in practical terms. It provided safety for the people and the cleared land had become a valuable resource for the development of the Kingdom.

“Although the number of landmines and UXOs that remain has rapidly decreased, the small number remaining are a serious danger. The potential for tragedy still exists,” he warned.

“Therefore, the way forward requires joint efforts. We must continue to solve the problem step by step, village by village, commune by commune, and so on, until the country is cleared, in accordance with the 2025 mission,” he added.


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