Defence Minister Tea Banh is slated today to preside over the official opening of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre’s new $700,000 “Peace Museum for Mine Action” at its Siem Reap regional headquarters, with Japan set to donate $12 million worth of demining equipment, an official said yesterday.
The demining museum in Prasat Bakong district will be officially inaugurated after “several years” of construction, according to CMAC Director-General Heng Ratana, who said the opening will be followed by another ceremony to receive the new equipment, which includes nine mine-destroying machines, 88 vehicles, 450 flak jackets and 788 metal detectors.
“The Peace Museum for Mine Action will be of great benefit to the younger generation of Cambodians, as well as researchers studying and researching war history, and the effects of the war in Cambodia,” Ratana said, explaining that the museum would feature pieces of unearthed ordnance.
There would also be information about the history of Cambodia’s civil war, and the mines that were laid, he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who led the Phnom Penh government during the 1980s civil war and oversaw the construction of the “K5” landmine belt in the northwest, said on his Facebook page that the museum would serve as a lesson to the rest of the world about the carnage mines can cause.
“At the same time, the land mines have prevented the cultivation of people’s crops. That’s why we have to work together to preserve peace so we have the opportunity to build a prosperous country,” he wrote. “What happened in Cambodia is something we do not want to happen in other countries.”