Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CMAC mine-sniffing canine trainers head out on 10-month trip

CMAC mine-sniffing canine trainers head out on 10-month trip

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CMAC director-general Heng Ratana meets demining dog trainers dispatched to Turkey on Monday. HENG RATANA VIA FACEBOOK

CMAC mine-sniffing canine trainers head out on 10-month trip

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) will send two specialised animal handling officers on a mission to train demining dogs in Turkey for 10 months this year.

The mission will be held in collaboration with and supported by Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnede Product Ontwikkeling (APOPO) – the Dutch international demining organisation.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on February 1 that this was the second time that CMAC had sent experts to Turkey. He said that over the years, Cambodian experts have also been sent to several other countries, including Colombia and the Central African Republic on a number of occasions.

Ratana stated that sending personnel to Turkey in collaboration with APOPO to train demining dogs was an operation organised under humanitarian efforts and they will be working in areas that are safe and not related to any current wars or post-war dangers.

He praised CMAC experts who went on missions abroad in the past where they had the opportunity to impart their knowledge while gaining experience in the field and not just providing classroom lectures or professional knowledge.

According to Ratana, Cambodia is very proud to have demining experts who are able to help in any country or region that needs demining assistance to clear the area quickly for humanitarian work and to help protect the lives of people and restore nations to peace and safety.

“We are here to help with knowledge. We are not directly carrying out the demining operations but we share our knowledge with countries like ours so that they can clear their mines quickly. We meet with foreign officials from time to time and we are happy that they consider our assistance an important factor and they ask us for more help,” he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CMAC’s landmine detection dogs in July last year. CMAC

According to Ratana, the work abroad is not only out of Cambodia’s self-interest or to build the prestige of the organisation, but also to contribute to the positive reputation and building a positive and compassionate national culture for the Kingdom that champions providing assistance to those in need.

APOPO and CMAC on December 16 last year signed a memorandum of understanding for 2022 on cooperation to continue APOPO’s animal tracking system for inclusion in CMAC’s demining activities.

CMAC and APOPO have been collaborating since 2016 and have successfully integrated animals into investigations and demining operations in Cambodia.

Mine-sniffing animals have increased their productivity in mine detection and cleared many hectares of land and gave them back to the community in a safe and efficient way.

In early 2021, APOPO ordered six demining dogs from CMAC to help clear mines in South Sudan. The organisation is also preparing to order more animals to participate in humanitarian demining work abroad, especially along the Turkish-Iraqi border.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • Ministry to 'seek justice' for officials indicted in US for 'monkey smuggling'

    The Cambodian government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they will make the “utmost effort” to seek justice for a Cambodian official arrested in John F Kennedy International Airport in New York for allegedly conspiring to smuggle crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)