Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Iraqi demining soldiers visit Cambodia for experience

A delegation of Iraqi demining soldiers is making a 10-day visit to Cambodia to get experience, a senior Cambodian demining official said Monday.
Kem Sophoan, director general of Cambodian Mine Action Center , told Kyodo news that the 14-member delegation from Iraqi Mine Risk Education arrived in Cambodia on Sunday and will make visits to at least four provinces and municipalities with areas covered by land mines and unexploded ordnance.
He said during their visit, which is organized by the center and UNICEF, the Iraqis will learn how Cambodia manages to clear the land mines and unexploded ordnance and how it divides demined land among local residents for crop production, among other things.
While visiting mined areas, they will get field experience in clearing land mines.
Kem Sophoan said it is the second time that Cambodia has received such a demining delegation from abroad.
Last year, a similar delegation consisting of people from nine mine-affected countries -- including Angola , Mozambique and Ethiopia -- visited to Cambodia to learn from its demining experience.
Due to long decades of civil war, millions of land mines have been planted in Cambodia since 1967 and accidents caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance are still common, killing or injuring about 400 people every year.
Some 40 percent of the land covered by land mines and unexploded ordnance has been cleared. As a result, many Cambodians have become among of the world's most experienced demining experts.
KyodoSeptember 08, 2008