Ly Thuch, first vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), supports Prime Minister Hun Sen’s commitment to assisting Ukraine with demining operations.
Hun Sen made the pledge during his November 1 telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, saying that Cambodia is ready to dispatch deminers to provide training to their counterparts.
According to a press statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Cambodia will provide demining training in collaboration with Japan, though it did not specify a timeline for the dispatch.
Zelensky expressed his thanks and welcomed Cambodia’s offer of assistance as a gesture of good will.
Cambodian Mine Action Centre director-general Heng Ratana told local media outlet Fresh News that the first group of expert demining trainers could leave for Ukraine in early December, while a second group would travel there early next year.
CMAA’s Thuch recalled that since Hun Sen brought comprehensive peace to the country in 1998, the premier has been spearheading efforts to make Cambodia mine-free by 2025.
“The prime minister’s decision to send Cambodian deminers to Ukraine is the correct one. It is clear that he has compassion for the people of Ukraine, who are now suffering in the same way Cambodia once did,” he told The Post.
“This will be the first phase of demining work in Ukraine, so there will be more discussions about how best to help them. I think we will dispatch them in the near future as it does not take long to plan,” he said
He explained that Cambodia is able to deploy deminers at very short notice thanks to its depth of outstanding human resources in this field thanks to the nearly 30 years of hard-won experience.