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Mine of information

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Mine of information

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday chastised NGOs who were spreading rumours that buried UXO posed no threat during a speech to close out the National Strategic Plan of Mine Action Conference.

Hun Sen said: ‘Before I came here today, I read the news and saw that there was a comment from the director-general of CMAC who was angry because NGOs were saying that mines buried in Cambodia are ‘rotten’ and no longer in danger of exploding.’ Such remarks are dangerous, he added.

Comparing the materials used in building a mineral mine and those used in explosives, Hun Sen said: ‘Wood decays, but explosives do not decay. Today, we prevent people from interacting with mines by not allowing Cambodian people or children to pick up suspicious objects. In locations where we suspect have mines, we put up warning signs to prevent people from entering these areas. We will continue to take such precautions until all landmines are cleared so we can then hand that land to the people.’

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s remarks were mischaracterised as chastising the director of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) for suggesting that landmines can “decay”. In fact, Hun Sen was echoing concerns from the CMAC director, who had earlier criticised mine-clearing NGOs for making such remarks.

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