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Siem Reap landmine museum receives additional 385 UXO

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A team of CMAA experts examine the latest batch of UXO before they are deemed safe to go on display at the Cambodia Landmine Museum in Siem Reap. CAMBODIA LANDMINE MUSEUM

Siem Reap landmine museum receives additional 385 UXO

The authorities have allowed 385 units of unexploded ordnance (UXO) to be displayed at Siem Reap’s Cambodia Landmine Museum, Chhun Bora, the training manager at Cambodia Self Help Demining said on Wednesday.

The announcement was made after a team of Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) experts examined the latest batch of UXO on Tuesday.

Bora said his team had carried out a series of demining and collecting activities prior to the examination by the authorities and experts.

This was to ensure the UXO were deemed safe to go on display at the museum, which is situated in Banteay Srei district’s Khnar Sanday commune.

“We did not gather the bombs in a single day but during a span of months and years. After collecting a large number of UXO we asked for authorisation to neutralise the explosive powder within them,” he said.

At the moment, he said, the now-defunct bombs are being cleaned before being safely displayed at the museum.

Bora said so far this year, his team has detected and cleared nearly 400 UXO of various kinds, with some grenades remaining intact and placed at safe locations.

CMAA secretary-general Ly Thuch said on Wednesday that any individuals or organisations that intend to display or keep UXO ought to ask for permission from relevant parties for safety reasons.

Authorisation is required because some laymen have kept UXO and played with them without technical inspections, thus causing fatalities when it exploded.

“We need to inspect each of [the UXO] thoroughly and ensure they are absolutely neutralised before being used for other purposes."

“However, we don’t encourage laymen to possess inactive explosives of any kind,” Thuch said.

The founder of Cambodia Landmine Museum, Aki Ra, could not be reached for comment.

However, museum staff member Sophin Sophary said her team was preparing to add the now-defunct explosives to the museum’s collection before displaying them to the visitors, including students keen to learn more about the Kingdom’s history.

“I am not aware of when we would display the objects, but currently we are preparing the space for them,” she said.

A CMAA report seen by The Post on Wednesday said the latest batch of UXO, which has been inspected and registered to be displayed at the museum, is comprised of 23 different types, including 128 landmines, eight cannons and 249 mixed ones.

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