Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CMAC, Golden West renew cooperation agreement

CMAC, Golden West renew cooperation agreement

CMAC Director Heng Ratana renews an agreement with Len Austin, director of special projects for the US State Department-supported Golden West Humanitarian Foundation.
CMAC Director Heng Ratana renews an agreement with Len Austin, director of special projects for the US State Department-supported Golden West Humanitarian Foundation. Photo supplied

CMAC, Golden West renew cooperation agreement

Heng Ratana, president of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, announced on Tuesday the renewal of a partnership with the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, which is supported by the US State Department.

According to Ratana, the agreement covers programs for the next three years.

Len Austin, Golden West’s director of special projects, confirmed the renewal today, calling it “standard process”.

Austin said the memorandum of understanding is required for Golden West to continue working from CMAC’s office in Kampong Chhnang. Among its work, the organisation recycles explosives that are used to destroy landmines and other unexploded ordnance, he added.

The organisation is supported by the US State Department, and has also worked to train CMAC’s Dive Unit in underwater bomb disposal, with the first Cambodian-led removal mission in 2015. In order to remove the ordnance, a team of divers must inspect it underwater and fasten equipment to it, before hauling it out of the water.

The relationship between CMAC and the US became fractious earlier this year after multiple high-ranking government officials publicly accused the US of neglecting its Vietnam War-era legacy. The heightened anti-US rhetoric coincided with a crackdown on the Cambodian opposition, which officials accused of colluding with the US to foment “revolution”.

The US, in turn, responded by accusing Cambodia of seeking to politicise a humanitarian issue, ultimately cut its $2 million in annual funding for CMAC and opening a clearance project in the country’s east up to bidding.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,