China adds to anti-mine armoury

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Vehicles and wheelchairs were included in the Chinese donation. KT/Mai Vireak

China has donated mine clearance equipment to Cambodia after pledging to help clear explosive remnants of the war last week.

Serei Kosal, vice president of the Cambodian Mine Action Authority, said the equipment will help many across the country.

He called China a “friend and brother” as it delivered high technology equipment and received Cambodian officials to receive training in demining.

The equipment delivered includes 40 motors, 14 laptops, ten iPads, 340 military tents, 1,400 wheelchairs, 18 blasting tools, 18 metal detectors, 18 demining tool kits, and 18 protective devices.

About $400 million is needed to clear all UXOs by 2025. KT/Mai Vireak

Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Chinese counterpart Li Kequiang met last week on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Manila.

After the meeting, Mr Hun Sen said that China was to help clear landmines and UXOs from the country.

China’s ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo said that contributions on mine clearance will increase the safety of many Cambodians.

“Both countries have been moving toward a closer relationship and cooperation on mine clearance,” he said, adding that the Chinese government would increase its aid to demining in order to clear all landmines from the Kingdom.

China is upping its aid on mine clearance as the US drops its support. KT/Mai Vireak

Cambodia estimates $400 million is needed to clear all landmines by 2025. About 2,000 square kilometres of land suspected to contain UXOs are still to be cleared.

Earlier this month, the US said it would cut funding for the Cambodian Mine Action Centre through the Norwegian People’s Aid NGO at the end of the year.

However, the US pledged to continue to provide funds for landmines clearing through other means.

A few days after China’s promise, the US extended funding for CMAC until February.

CMAC director Heng Ratana said demining operations require many donors to help. There are currently more than ten countries helping Cambodia clear mines.

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