25.6 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
25.6 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    Cambodian experts begin training Ukrainian deminers

    PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (AP) – Fifteen Ukrainian deminers are being trained by experts in Cambodia who are among the world’s best because of experience from clearing the leftovers of nearly three decades of war.

    The Ukrainian deminers are being hosted by the Cambodian Mine Action Center, a government agency that oversees the clearing of land mines and unexploded ordnance in Cambodia. The weeklong programme began yesterday and is supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

    The demining centre’s director general Heng Ratana, said the Ukrainians will be trained by Cambodian experts at the Mine Action Technical Institute in the central province of Kampong Chhnang, visit demining sites in northwestern Battambang province and tour a museum dedicated to land mines and unexploded ordnance in Siem Reap province, home to the famous Angkor temples.

    He said the training will focus on mine clearing using technology including a Japanese detection device called the Advanced Landmine Imaging System.

    The New York-based group Human Rights Watch said last June that Russia is using land mines in Ukraine “that are causing civilian casualties and suffering, as well as disrupting food production”.

    “Russia is the only party to the conflict known to have used banned antipersonnel mines, while both Russia and Ukraine have used anti-vehicle mines,” it said.

    Cambodia was littered with land mines and other unexploded ordnance after almost three decades of war ending in the late 1990s.

    An estimated four million to six million unexploded devices remain uncleared and continue to kill people.

    Since the end of the fighting, nearly 20,000 people have been killed and about 45,000 have been injured by leftover war explosives, although the average annual death toll has dropped from several thousand to less than 100.

    Cambodian deminers have become among the world’s most experienced, and several thousand have been sent in the past decade under United Nations (UN) auspices to work in Africa and the Middle East.

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