The National Police on Friday handed over almost 12,000 firearms left over from war to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre in Phnom Penh for destruction.
Lieutenant General Sek Phoumi, National Police deputy chief, said during a ceremony on Friday that the handing over of weapons is part of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the National Police and CMAC on reducing mine risks and explosive remnants of war.
“The 11,915 inoperative weapons were kept in National Police warehouses at Prek Pra and are being handed over to the CMAC for destruction,” he said. “More weapons, still kept in provincial police stations, will soon be given to the CMAC.”
Heng Ratana, CMAC director-general, yesterday said that after the handover, his officials on Saturday transported all the firearms to CMAC’s headquarters.
“The firearms that the National Police handed over to CMAC included AK, CKC and M17 rifles, improvised arms and other types,” he said.
Mr Ratana said that the authorities could not simply throw away the broken firearms, so CMAC will destroy them to prevent people from repairing them and using them for crimes.
He said that CMAC expects to receive tens of thousands of weapons from provincial police.
“Our officials will also salvage some firearms to be displayed as exhibits,” Mr Ratana said. “Some of the weapons will go on exhibit at the Peace Museum of Mine Action for the next generation to see, and learn about the violence and the tragedy of the war in the Kingdom.”
Cambodia destroyed 3,855 weapons in 1998 at the National Olympic Stadium, and 5,112 in Kandal province in 2006. In 54 such actions nationwide, a total of 212,735 fire arms have been demolished.
Lieutenant General Theam Bunseng, National Police Weapon and Explosive Department director, yesterday said police will continue to cooperate with CMAC to collect firearms left over from war around the country.