Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet has urged the international community to support the country’s mine-free goal by 2025, which includes achieving a ‘Mine-Free Cambodia’. He made the appeal at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Cambodia is severely impacted by landmines and explosive remnants of war, with an estimated 4-6 million munitions remaining from three decades of war and internal conflicts ending in 1998.
Between 1965 and 1973, the United States dropped around 230,516 bombs on 113,716 sites in Cambodia. From 1979 to June 2023, landmine and ERW explosions killed 19,821 people and injured or amputated 45,205 others, making Cambodia one of the countries with the highest casualties.
Since 1992, 2,761 square kilometers have been cleared, lowering the number of casualties from 4,320 in 1996 to less than 100 per year on average over the last 10 years. However, Cambodia still needs to clear the remaining contaminated areas of 1,817 square kilometers, with 538 square kilometers contaminated with landmines and the rest with ERWs.