Iraqi Deminers Finish Training Visit, Colombians on the Way

A team of deminers from Iraq wrapped up a three-week training mission to Cambodia on Saturday, with another group from Colombia set to arrive next week.

Heng Ratana, director of the Cambodian Mine Action Center, which regularly hosts foreign demining teams, said on Monday that the 27 deminers from Iraq made trips to the provinces to learn from the center’s extensive work in the field.

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Cambodian Mine Action Center personnel, in blue, lead members of a visiting delegation from Iraq through a field in Tbong Khmum province on Thursday, in a photograph posted to the center’s Facebook page.

“They are very interested in our technical skills clearing mines,” he said.

“They assessed that our abilities and skills are better than theirs.”

The Japan International Cooperation Agency, which paid for the visit, said the training included various clearing techniques and the handling and maintenance of different equipment.

Cambodia last hosted a demining delegation from Iraq in 2008, when the visitors focused on education strategies, communication coordination systems and data collection.

Mr. Ratana said the coming visit from Colombia would include a team of 25 government officials who will stay for one month, though he did not have further details of their program.

Besides hosting training and education visits, Cambodia also sends its deminers abroad on monthslong clearing missions.

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