A landmine-free Cambodia by 2025 remains ambitious but doable, authorities say, two years after launching a concerted effort to eradicate the scourge with the backing of Western countries and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“Over these last two years, mine clearing has been going pretty well,” said Heng Ratana, director-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC). “Even in 2021, when we had the Covid-19 crisis, we still did a good job in clearing landmines.”
However, the project still has its issues, including access to closed-off, old military sectors near the Thai border. Demining is also complicated by difficult, sloping topography, especially in heavily forested areas where bamboo is common. And there is a $76 million funding shortfall.