A total of 188 trainees, drawn from the ranks of officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted soldiers of the Engineering Command at Tram Khnar Army Base in Takeo province, participated in a short demining course to meet the demands of increased demining activities.

Kong Pak, deputy chief of staff and deputy head of the engineering command, said the course will run from August 8-26. The lessons include general demining skills and the use of Ciea D1 mine detectors, along with psychological education and primary medical skills.

Khem Chea Sakhoeun, the army chief of staff, said the course aims to improve the soldiers’ knowledge, efficiency and safety in the implementation of demining operations, make all soldiers aware of the use of all types of mine detectors, and increase their awareness of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and explosive remnants of war (ERW).

He said that although Cambodia had been liberated from the Pol Pot genocidal regime in 1979, the war did not stop until 1998, when the win-win policy of Prime Minister Hun Sen ended hostilities and brought about comprehensive peace. Despite this, he said many remnants of the decades of conflict remain, noting that the demining sector of the armed forces was established in 1992.

He said Hun Sen then established the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA), which has the task of facilitating the demining sector across the country and internationally. The premier has also announced the launch of the Samdech Techo project for mine action under the theme “Providing Safe Ground, Creating Smiles”.

“The Engineering Command is carrying out its duty and joining the government in assisting the nation’s development by liberating land so people can earn a living and live with hope,” Chea Sakhoeun said.

Oum Socheat, a professional officer at the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), said that since 2019, CMAC has conducted three demining training courses at the Engineering Command, with a total of 418 graduates.

He said the training has made a significant contribution to strengthening the army’s ability to improve national development.