Officials from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague are to visit Cambodia soon after the government asked for help to clear chemical weapons from the country.
Lieutenant General Ke Da, deputy-secretary general of the national chemical weapons authority, said he had informed OPCW during a meeting in Holland about the chemical bombs unearthed in Svay Rieng province’s Korki commune.
Lt Gen Da, who is currently in Holland, said he would be continuing to discuss details of the work last night.
“Experts from the OPCW will leave for Cambodia soon,” he said, but was unable to confirm an exact date.
Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhon wrote to OPCW director-general Ahmet Uzumcu to ask for assistance in clearing chemical bombs from the country.
OPCW is an intergovernmental organisation that works to stop the use of chemical weapons alongside the United Nations.
Lt Gen Da also confirmed that primary tests on bombs found in Svay Rieng were indicating the devices contained mustard gas, not CS gas as previously thought.
“We will verify this with OPCW during their visit to Cambodia,” he said.
More than 100 villagers have sought medical treatment for suspected exposure to chemical bombs at Svay Rieng Provincial Hospital over the past couple of months. Most had skin and respiratory complaints.
In Svay Rieng province alone, which borders Vietnam, chemical bombs have been found in 29 locations. There are about 34 locations known to contain the same type of devices throughout the country.