Cambodia took a significant step towards ensuring safety and peace within its borders as competent authorities destroyed remnants of over 200 landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXO) on June 4.
The destruction of landmines and UXO took place in the Royor commune of Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district, led by Sem Sovanny, second vice-president of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and director general of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces, Mines, and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC).
The NPMEC reported the Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers successfully destroyed 44 anti-personnel mines and tanks, 169 UXOs, and 56,949 ammunition parts left from past conflicts.
He said that decades of war have left Cambodia with an abundance of ammunition, resulting in numerous landmines and UXO buried throughout the country. This poses a continuous threat to the lives, animals, and property of its people.
“The collaborative efforts between the CMAA, local authorities, and the Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Fund, with the support of the Samdech Techo Project for Mine Action (STP-MA), had achieved fruitful results in ensuring safety and clearing hazardous areas,” he said.
The operation in Mondulkiri province, covering 8 million square metres or 80 per cent of the total land area of over 9 million square metres, has made significant progress.
Nuon Saran, the deputy governor of Mondulkiri province, said that the province now faces a reduced vulnerability to such threats. He expressed optimism that the clearance action would improve the livelihoods of local people.
With the concerted efforts of the CMAA, Cambodia has already declared the capital and 11 provinces as “mine-free” including Stung Treng, Kep, Prey Veng, Phnom Penh, Preah Sihanouk province, Tbong Khmum, Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng, Kampong Chhnang, Kandal, Takeo, and Kampot.