Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mine casualties increasing




Mine casualties increasing

Mine casualties increasing

CASUALTIES resulting from land mines and explosive remnants of war this year remain on pace to exceed those from 2009, according to a report released this week, which would mark the first year-on-year increase since 2005.

The monthly report, released on Tuesday by the Cambodian Mine Action And Victim Assistance Authority, said total casualties reached 207 for the period of January to August this year, compared with just 186 for the same period in 2009. Of those, 45 people were killed, 37 required amputations and 125 suffered other injuries.

After about five years of minor fluctuation, casualties in Cambodia fell by 50 percent – to 450 – in 2006, and the total has declined every year since. Last year, 244 were recorded.

Chhiv Lim, project manager for the Cambodia Mine/ERW Victim Information System, said yesterday that this year’s increase was likely due to people carelessly venturing into areas that had not been properly de-mined. “Some play with ERWs like they are toys,” he said.

But Jamie Franklin, country programme director for the Mine Action Group, suggested that the elevated casualty total could be the result of a single anomalous month. May saw a total of 51 casualties, making it the worst month for Cambodia in nearly three years.

“One mine accident in Pailin [province] in May resulted in 16 casualties when a vehicle carrying villagers to the fields for work detonated an antitank mine,” Franklin said via email.

Khem Sophoan, director general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, expressed concern about prospects for bringing yearly casualty totals down further, saying some countries had scaled back mine action donations.

“Some donors have promised to continue to assist us, but they later decreased their funding because of the effect of the economic crisis on their nations,” he said.

Battambang is the province most heavily hit by mines, with 112 casualties reported since January last year.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15