Friday, January 28, 2011
Landmines in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the most heavily mined areas in the world. Six million, possibly as many as ten million landmines are still active, remnants of years of conflict, claiming new victims daily. Forty thousand Cambodians live as amputees. The country has one of the highest disability rates in the world. Landmines and unexploded ordnance kill or injure hundreds of people in Cambodia every year. Most of the problem is in the north-western provinces. The cost of removal is one thousand US dollars per mine or more.
The country is littered with unexploded ordnance, or UXO.
It is nearly impossible to see the mines obscured by heavy vegetation.
Detonated when tripped, landmines send shrapnel everywhere. The pressure of an unlucky footstep can trigger a mine Most landmines are designed to maim, not kill.
Cambodia has made strides in clearing land and the number of casualties has been greatly reduced. But the problem remains massive and a major impediment to development. Cambodia needs international support.
The Mine Ban Treaty bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel mines.The United States has yet to sign the Treaty.