Cambodia Committed to Become Mine-Free Nation by 2025

The Royal Government of Cambodia launched here yesterday the National Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025, a strategic plan to make the Kingdom a mine free nation by 2025.

The launching ceremony took place at the Peace Palace under the presidency of Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen along with the closing ceremony of the National Mine Action Conference under theme Toward a Mine Free Cambodia, 2025.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his pride over Cambodia's achievements in reducing the danger caused by landmines and UXOs.

The deadly legacy of decades of civil war has left Cambodia one of the most heavily landmine-affected countries in the world, he said, pointed out that according to Cambodia Victim Information System, from 1979 to 2017, the casualties due to landmines and UXOs were recorded at 64,688. Thanks to its efforts, the country could control well the mine and UXO clearance and succeeded in reducing the casualty rates, from 4,320 per year in 1996 to an annual average of some 100 in the last five years, he underlined.

The Premier further laid stress on the importance of peace in contribution to reducing the danger caused by landmines and UXOs, strengthening democracy, human rights and dignity respect, and enhancing socio-economic development in Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Samdech Techo Hun Sen rejected some comments and media reports saying that landmines in Cambodia did not function anymore. Such comments could misled the people and cause a lack of their caution of landmines which can be dangerous all the time, he added.

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to give some recommendations for the successful implementation of the National Mine Action Strategy 2018-2025.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen also visited an expo showing mine and UXO clearance activities conducted by relevant institutions and non-governmental organisations.

According to Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA)'s report, after more than 25 years (1992-2017) of demining operation, Cambodia has cleared some 1,700 square kilometres of affected land and destroyed 1.25 million landmines and 2.7 million explosive remnants of war.

Despite the efforts, there are still 2,000 square kilometres of land left to be cleared, said the report.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press