Cambodia reports 71 landmine/UXO casualties in 10 months

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia recorded 71 landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) casualties in the first 10 months of 2019, up 42 percent compared with 50 over the same period last year, said an official report on Friday.


During the January-October period this year, 11 people were killed, up from eight deaths over the same period last year, said the report released by the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA).


It added that 60 others were either injured or limps amputated during the first 10 months of this year, up from only 42 in the same period last year.


Regional and internal conflicts from the 1960s to late 1998 had left Cambodia as one of the most mine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) affected countries in the world. An estimated 4-6 million landmines and other munitions were left over from the almost three decades of war.


According to the report, landmine and UXO explosions had killed 19,779 people and either injured or amputated 45,070 others from 1979 to October 2019.


It said from 1992 to October this year, about 1,910 square kilometers of landmines and ERWs had been cleared in Cambodia, benefiting more than 5.3 million people.


About 1.07 million anti-personnel mines, 25,153 anti-tank mines, and 2.81 million items of ERWs were found and destroyed during the period, the report said, adding that it is estimated that mines and ERWs are still scattered over the area of 2,067 square kilometers in the country.


CMAA's 1st Vice-President Ly Thuch said last month that the government is committed to making Cambodia a mine-free nation by 2025, and to achieve this, the kingdom needs roughly 400 million U.S. dollars in aid.


"To achieve a mine-free Cambodia by 2025, we need strong commitment from international donor community, the Royal Government of Cambodia, private sectors and individuals," he said. "We strongly hope that from 2026 onward, no Cambodian is killed or injured by landmines."

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