Cambodian soldiers working as deminers as part of UN peacekeeping forces overseas are being given a new tool with a proven track record back home – landmine-sniffing dogs.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry yesterday said Indian Ambassador Naveen Srivastava had pledged 15 of the canines during a closed-door meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhon.
“I know only that the Indian government had decided to provide 15 sniffer dogs and they are prepared to train Cambodian experts to ensure that both the dogs and their handlers are competent for the job,” Sounry said.
Cambodia, which has sent thousands of troops on overseas missions with the UN in the past decade, has routinely provided expertise for demining units due to expertise developed at home, where unexploded ordnance still litters much of the countryside.
Major General Phal Samorn, information director at the National Center for Peacekeeping Forces, Mine and ERW Clearance, said the dogs would be a great help. “The addition of 15 sniffer dogs from India will be an excellent resource to aid our demining efforts,” said Samorn.