BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA
The casualties caused by land mines and UXOs explosions remained a problem and concern for people in Cambodia. It now is claiming lots of peoples’ lives every year in the country, said a government official.
Heng Rattana, General Director of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), said that the casualties caused by land mines and explosive remnants of war are still concern for Cambodia and the people in Cambodia. He added that it has also impacted on the social development and economic growth in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
According to a CMAC’s report in 2010, the casualties caused by the land mines and UXOs explosion was increased by 5 percent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2009. There were 24 in last month, up slightly from June 2009.
“There have been 158 casualties through the first six months of the year. This casualty total was far lower than the 50 recorded in May, which was the worst month for casualties nationwide in nearly three years,” he said.
According to the report 2010, 5 people were killed in mine and UXO accidents recorded in June and 19 people were injured, 5 of whom required amputations.
From January 2009 to June 2010, the most mine casualties happened in five provinces including Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Pailin and Oddar Meanchey provinces, he said, adding that the land- mine casualties was dramatically decreased from 1,691 in 1993 to 244 in 2009. To clear mines and UXOs in Cambodia, Cambodia was granted another 10 years extension by the United Nations.
H.E. Mr. Kuroki Masafumi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Cambodia, said that Japan has been supported CMAC since 1999, with grant aid and technical cooperation with the total amount of US$ 57 million. Based on CMAC’s data, from 1999 to June 2009, 28,330 m2 of land have been cleared and 200,000 items of anti-personal mines and UXOs have been destroyed. Mine causalities have also significantly decreased from 2, 535 cases in 1993 to 200 cases in 2009.
He added that Japan has contributed to the achievement of these results and will continue to assist Cambodia in its effort for de-mining activities which will create safe environment for economic and social development of Cambodian people.