The Cambodian Mine Action Centre and Thai Mine Action Centre met on Wednesday in Thailand’s Sakeo province to select areas to be jointly demined along the border.
Heng Ratana, CMAC director-general, said in a statement on Wednesday that the meeting focused on strengthening demining cooperation between the two institutions, especially along the Cambodian-Thai border for the area to be developed.
“I led the CMAC delegation to meet with General Sittipol Nimnuan, TMAC director-general, to discuss specific areas that we need to jointly demine,” he said. “Both of us also paid a visit to the Aranyaprathet Hospital in the province to learn about the manufacturing of artificial legs in the hospital.”
He said CMAC and TMAC are entrusted to jointly demine the border area and they first determine which area is to be marked for demining before seeking approval from the joint border committee to begin work.
Mr Ratana could not be reached for more comments yesterday.
According to the Ottawa Treaty, Thailand is committed to be mine-free by 2023, while Cambodia is committed to be mine-free by 2025.
Poipet city Governor San Seanho said yesterday that the border needs to be demined to clear the area for economic development, but this can only be done in stages.
“Demining is very significant to boost ties between Cambodia and Thailand,” he said. “We can see more growth along the border with the setting up of casinos and hotels especially along the city’s border with Thailand.”
Mr Seanho said that there are a lot of landmines dotting the border but only those areas which are clearly demarcated after agreement between both countries can be jointly demined.
He said that other parts of the border cannot be demined yet until the areas are clearly demarcated and approval is given by the joint border committee.