A group of 15 Cambodian deminers with the Mines Advisory Group returned last week from central Kosovo, where they were working since June to clear mines from land around schools, houses and agricultural fields.
This was the first team of Cambodian deminers to complete an overseas demining mission, according to Archie Law, country program manager for MAG Cambodia.
Law said a team of Western deminers could have been used for the mission, but the Cambodians were chosen for their familiarity with conditions similar to those found in Kosovo.
“There was still violence happening. Lots of houses were booby-trapped, and it was not a pretty sort of place to be in that situation,” Law said.
“The Cambodian team is very adept at what they do, but more importantly Cambodians are used to the psychological as well as the physical demands of demining.”
The mission, which also included training former Kosovo Liberation Army soldiers in mine clearance, disposal and minefield surveying, was funded by the Department for International Development, according to a statement released by MAG, one of three demining agencies in Cambodia.