Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CMAC set to eradicate minefields in five provinces

CMAC set to eradicate minefields in five provinces

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A CMAC officer preparing unexploded ordnance for demolition in Battambang province on Tuesday. CMAC

CMAC set to eradicate minefields in five provinces

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) has laid out demining plans that aim to make Phnom Penh and five other provinces landmine-free by 2022, targeting the remaining anti-personnel landmines in minefields that have been logged in the national database.

CMAC director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on February 10 that according to the new plans, the NGO was planning to clear areas free of landmines that were outside of minefields. They include Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kep, Kandal, Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong and Kampong Cham.

He explained that demining in these provinces refers to minefields that have been logged on the record map and national data and are known to exist. “This demining is to become mine-free provinces. We refer only to minefields,” he said.

However, he stressed the distinction between landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), saying: “There may be areas with unexploded ordnance [in these provinces], such as bombs dropped from planes, [that] we have not yet planned for.

“The demining that we talk about refers to anti-personnel mines that we have known [to exist] and have identified in the polygonal record map in the national data.

“So as long as there are anti-personnel mines in those provinces, we [will] work hard to remove them completely,” he said.

According to the plan, CMAC is on track to complete demining work in Phnom Penh and Kandal by the end of this month, while the first stage of complete landmine removal in Kep is scheduled to be finished by mid-February.

Meanwhile, Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and the national army infantry have strengthened cooperation on their work in demining and safely destroying explosive remnants of war (ERW).

On February 9, CMAA First Vice-president Ly Thuch and Hun Manet , deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, co-chaired a virtual meeting on disseminating the directive of the Council of Ministers and strengthening partnerships and cooperation on ERW and mine clearance.

The meeting was attended by top provincial officials, army commanders, provincial mine action committees and mine action planning teams from 15 provincial administrations that had landmines and explosive remnants of war along the border.

Thuch praised the army’s infantry on its effort to liberate the country from genocide, defend sovereignty, and protect the peace of the nation.

The army’s infantry has actively participated in the removal of landmines since 1979 in its aim to provide security for people returning from the horrors of genocide.

“In 2022 ... we plan to hold an important event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of humanitarian mine clearance under the presidency of Samdech Techo [Hun Sen],” he added.

Thuch said that with this achievement, Cambodia has come a long way in its efforts to address the remaining areas of land threatened by landmines and munitions, and is on track to achieving freedom from landmines by late 2025.

Manet lauded the Kingdom’s demining work over the past three decades. He considered the work to be crucial in the development of the country, rehabilitating former battlefields for land use and development, as well as in reducing the danger for many Cambodians living under the threat of landmines.

“We have participated in many demining activities at the sub-national level so far. And after getting permission from the Royal Government of Cambodia, [...] we will start joining humanitarian mine clearance [efforts] in collaboration with CMAA to speed up complete mine clearance,” he said.


  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker