The embassy of the Philippines in Cambodia requested the assistance of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) with its demining efforts in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. Heavy fighting recently ended there, and the region remains littered with landmines and Unexploded ordnance (UXO).
The request was made during a meeting between CMAA vice-president Ly Thuch and Philippines ambassador Amelita Aquino, who led a mine action delegation to meet with the CMAA on April 7.
The Philippines’ mine action delegation, led by Hussein Munoz, a lawmaker for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is visiting Cambodia to learn from its hard-won experiences in the demining sector.
“Aquino requested the Cambodian government, through CMAA, to cooperation in helping their demining efforts, especially in the Bangsamoro region, so recently affected by war,” CMAA said in an April 7 press statement.
Thuch placed a high value on the close relationship between Cambodia and the Philippines. He thanked the Philippines government for its contribution to peace building in Cambodia, including the deployment of their peacekeeping forces to Cambodia during the time of the United Nations Transitional Authority, when Cambodia faced insecurity.
Thuch said Cambodia had redoubled its efforts to clear the landmines and UXO left from the war and the time of the Khmer Rouge regime and brought peace to the country – through the prime minister-initiated win-win strategy.
He added that the achievements made in mine clearance in the last 30 years came with the participation and contributions of development partners. Safe land has now been provided to the people for use.
Thuch said since when mine clearance action started in 1992, Cambodia had learned all aspects of mine clearance and gained a lot of experience in this field. Cambodia now has the ambition of helping people in other countries in the region and around the world who are in need of mine clearance expertise.
He said the CMAA recently organised a workshop to share its experience of demining in Cambodia to their Philippines counterparts.