The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) continues to urge citizens to avoid entering areas with unclear histories or handling mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).

This advisory follows a recent incident in Banteay Meanchey province where a resident, while in a forest, inadvertently detonated a landmine, resulting in the loss of his left leg, as reported by CMAA on October 25.

Ly Thuch, the first vice-president of the CMAA, stated his deep regret on behalf of the organisation. He said the accident serve as call for the more than 5,000 deminers who persistently work towards clearing mines, aligning with the vision of the Prime Minister.

"We urge all citizens not to enter any areas of uncertain history. It is essential to consult local authorities before venturing into these regions and to refrain from touching any landmines or UXO if encountered. In case of discovery, prompt reporting to the authorities or nearby demining operators is crucial for their safe removal and disposal," he said.

He added that the CMAA will heighten mine risk awareness, particularly in areas where ammunition is still present. This will be accomplished with the assistance of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to disseminate the message in schools located in remote regions.

Additionally, the awareness campaign will be extended through the collaboration of National Police officials, the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) and Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers.

According to a CMAA report, the first nine months of this year witnessed 27 victims of UXO, with 13 being mine victims and 14 victims of explosive remnants of war (ERW). Notably, the provinces most affected by these incidents include Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Battambang and Ratanakkiri.