Japan donated 12 Advanced Landmine Imaging System (ALIS) mine detectors worth nearly $500,000 to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) to help the Kingdom to achieve its “Mine-Free Cambodia 2025” goal.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana said the state-of-the-art mine detector has been in development since 2006, with cooperation from CMAC specialists. The hand-held device is capable of scanning buried metal objects and analysing the resulting images. It uses electromagnetic waves to identify buried objects such as mines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) or shrapnel.

“The ALIS mine detector was designed … to increase the safety and operational efficiency of demining technicians,” he added.

Chhun Bora, a training and monitoring officer at Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD), said many methods were employed in the detection of mines, including dogs, rats and several different types of machine, but modern equipment will speed up operations.

He added that his teams currently use Germany’s latest mine detection equipment, but the ALIS detectors would be an improvement.

“I support the use of modern technology, because it reduces the risks to its operators, and increases the speed they can work at. This will make a significant contribution to the government’s plans to eliminate mines by 2025,” he said.

Ratana noted that on February 14, Cambodia and Japan agreed to support the training of humanitarian demining experts from Ukraine.

He said that following requests by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide training to Ukrainian officers in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen had agreed to offer practical demining cooperation.

“Based on his decision, CMAC and JICA have elected to use ALIS mine detectors to train the Ukrainian operators. This will increase the safety and efficiency of their work,” he continued.