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Donate to make Kingdom mine-free by 2025, PM says as funds reach $15M

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Two aerial bombs known as MK82 which had deeply penetrated in a pit​ for years, were neutralized successfully by CMAC EOD experts in Kandal and Takeo provinces last month. CMAC

Donate to make Kingdom mine-free by 2025, PM says as funds reach $15M

Prime Minister Hun Sen is urging people to help make Cambodia mine free by 2025 donating to its cause. So far, the government has raised around $15 million.

Speaking during a meeting with ASEAN Para Games delegates on July 6, Hun Sen said that by contributing to the fund, donors will be participating in the national movement to demine Cambodia, seeing that many have been maimed or killed by landmines.

“People acquired land for cultivation with smiles. We provide smile for our people who will be free from the fear [of landmines],” Hun Sen said.

The government had introduced “win-win policies” to turn former battlefields into developmental zones and borders into borders of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.

“So far, we can say that we have achieved 90 per cent of the initial work with another 10 per cent of the battlefields left to be turned into developmental zones. They are still [covered] by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO),” he said.

He contended that he “neglected” his leadership by not releasing a “big budget package” to demine the remaining areas, and instead “relied too much” on development partners to donate to the budget.

Hun Sen said Japan was the largest donor, followed by China, South Korea, Australia, the EU and US to help Cambodia with the demining efforts.

However, there remained several areas that were still covered by landmines, hence the national movement to push the situation forward.

“It is a national movement to make Cambodia mine-free by 2025. We have another three years to go, which is not far.

“The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) must prepare the points for removing landmines and UXO for our country’s,” he said.

Following Hun Sen’s call, CMAA first vice-president Ly Thuch said the CMAA led an emergency meeting with demining operators.

“We have appointed demining operators and are determined to clear landmines from provinces, towns, districts, communes and villages by using the budget donated by friendly countries and development partners,” he said on July 6.

CMAA will use the budget to demine the capital and seven counties. The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) planned to complete the demining efforts in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk this year.

The demining operation in Ratanakkiri province is scheduled to be completed this year with the support of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the UK-based Mines Advisory Group (MAG).

Siem Reap province will be demined by HALO Trust. CMAC is discussing with the NPA to demine Kampong Cham province and expects to clear mines in Pursat province with the help of Japan.

Currently, CMAC is demining Battambang and will declare it a mine-free province by 2025.


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