Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom ‘needs $406M to be mine-free by 2025’

Kingdom ‘needs $406M to be mine-free by 2025’

Members of Cambodian Mine Action Center search for mines using a metal detector on the K5 mine belt in Battambang province. Cambodia says it needs $403 million in order to clear the land of explosive remnants of war by 2025.
Members of Cambodian Mine Action Center search for mines using a metal detector on the K5 mine belt in Battambang province. Cambodia says it needs $403 million in order to clear the land of explosive remnants of war by 2025. Heng Chivoan

Kingdom ‘needs $406M to be mine-free by 2025’

Cambodia reiterated on Wednesday, International Mine Awareness Day, that it needs $406 million to be mine-free by 2025.

According to the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), of which Prime Minister Hun Sen is the president, Cambodia needs the millions to clear nearly 2,000 square kilometres of land known to be blighted by landmines and remnants of war, in a bid to make Cambodia “mine-free” by 2025.

Cambodia had previously told China the amount needed to clear the country of mines, which China said it would consider. The Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh did not respond to a request for comment.

CMAA’s first vice president, Ly Thuch, said the funding gap included $194 million for clearing landmines, $121 million for cluster munitions and another $39 million for explosive war remnants. Another $52 million will be required for management of the sector, as well as $600,000 for a baseline survey.

Thuch said he was “optimistic” about reaching those goals. “If we have enough financial resources and human resources, then we can meet our goal.”

A report from Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining in 2016 – before the formulation of the new 2018-2025 action plan – found that Cambodia’s demining efforts were not on track to meet the deadline.

Cambodia was hit by a heavy US bombing campaign during the Vietnam War. Following the Khmer Rouge regime, an explosive belt of landmines was laid by the Vietnamese-backed government as part of the K5 project in a bid to cut off Khmer Rouge guerrilla infiltration during the 1980s.

Norwegian People’s Aid Country Director Aksel Steen-Nilsen said not all of the $406 million is for clearing.

“From NPA perspective we would encourage Cambodian government to step up its monetary contribution towards the clearance of landmines towards 2025 to show its commitment towards reaching this goal,” he said in a message, adding NPA would assist with demining.

“All the goals are based on estimates, so very difficult to predict if they can achieve a mine-free Cambodia by 2025. Donor fatigue will of course also play in and influence on achieving the target.”

CMAA said that between 1992 and 2017, 1,680 square kilometres had been cleared, involving over 1 million anti-personnel mines, more than 24,600 anti-tank mines, and more than 2.7 million other explosive remnants of war. The number of casualties from exploding ordnance had also dropped from 4,320 in 1996 to 58 in 2017.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • Huge 3.5-tonne ivory haul seized in capital

    Working with US officials, Phnom Penh Autonomous Port has uncovered almost 3.5 tonnes of elephant ivory hidden in a container, the US Embassy in Cambodia said on Facebook on Saturday. A tip-off provided to the General Department of Customs and Excise by a US Fish and

  • Cambodia’s Miss Universe contestant to return home

    Twenty-three-year-old Rern Sinat from Kampong Cham province, only the second Miss Cambodia to compete in the Miss Universe beauty pageant, is said to be “a little disappointed but in good spirits” after not ranking in the 2018 Miss Universe contest in Bangkok, Thailand. “The weakest part

  • Assembly passes amendment to Political Party Law Article 45

    The National Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a proposed amendment to Article 45 of the Law on Political Parties in a move that could pave the way for former senior opposition leaders banned for five years to return to the political stage. As expected, the 115 ruling