China donates mine clearance equipment to Cambodia

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-20 21:36:12|Editor: Xiang Bo
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PHNOM PENH, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- China donated mine-clearance equipment, wheelchairs, motorcycles and office equipment to the Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA) on Monday.

Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo handed over the donation to CMAA's First Vice President Serei Kosal during a ceremony in Phnom Penh.

The donation included 18 mine detectors, 18 demining personal protective equipment (PPE) outfits, 18 sets of blasting tools, 1,200 wheelchairs, 340 tents and 40 motorcycles, as well as 26 sets of laptops, desktops and iPads.

Ambassador Xiong praised Cambodian deminers for their great contribution to safeguarding the lives and properties of the Cambodian people and hoped that the donation would help reduce landmine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) casualties and eliminate all kinds of mines and explosive remnants of war in Cambodia by 2025.

"The Chinese government has actively supported the demining cause in Cambodia, and we believe this batch of demining equipment and materials will be very useful for the Cambodian deminers," he said.

Cambodia is one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world. An estimated 4 to 6 million landmines and other munitions were left over from nearly three decades of war that ended in 1998.

According to official figures, landmine and UXO explosions had killed 19,757 people and either injured or amputated 44,948 others from 1979 to September 2017.

Kosal said more than 5,000 Cambodian deminers have been risking their lives to clear mines and UXOs in the area of nearly 2,000 square km and thanked China for the donation.

"China's assistance in mine clearance has saved the lives of tens of thousands of people who are living under threat of landmines and unexploded ordnances," he said, adding that China has supported the CMAA since 2015.

Kosal said the Southeast Asian country is seeking the budget of more than 400 million U.S. dollars to clear all types of landmines and explosive remnants of war by 2025.

KEY WORDS: China-Cambodia