A humanitarian mine-clearance training course concluded on March 17 with a ceremonial handover of equipment to five demining platoons at the Training School for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Phnom Sruoch district, Kampong Speu province.

The ceremony was presided over by Sem Sovanny, director-general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC).

He said that the course aimed to strengthen the capacity of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) to perform domestic humanitarian mine-clearance operations as well as peacekeeping duties under the UN umbrella, according to the Ministry of Information.

The course was said to be made possible by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s efforts to raise funds from donors to guarantee safe villages. The premiere initiated the Samdech Techo Project for Mine Action, themed “Providing Safe Ground, Creating Smiles”, to make Cambodia “mine-free” by 2025.

NPMEC deputy director-general Hout Kimsan noted that this was the second time that the school had conducted such a training course, with trainees from his centre, the navy’s central command, and Engineering Force Command.

The first such course was run in August 2022 for nine platoons comprising a total of 234 personnel from the army’s central command.