Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and the Embassy of the Republic of India have reached a Memorandum of Understanding on “Quick Impact Projects – Mine Free Villages in Koh Kong Province, Cambodia”.

The MoU was signed here on June 21 between H.E. Suy Chiheang, Acting Secretary General of CMAA and H.E. Dr. Devyani Uttam Khobragade, Ambassador of India to Cambodia, under the witness of H.E. Ly Thuch, Senior Minister and CMAA First Vice President, and H.E. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs of India.

The “Quick Impact Projects – Mine Free Villages in Koh Kong Province, Cambodia” is another solid step to bring Cambodia closer to the goal of becoming a mine-free country by the year 2025, stressed H.E. Ly Thuch, in his remarks.

According to H.E. Ly Thuch, the area of focus in the project is Koh Kong which is a coastal province in southwestern Cambodia with an area of 10,990 square kilometres and a population of 125,902. This province has 133 villages with many tourism destinations and agricultural development activities including pepper and mango plantations.

This project covers four villages: Tam Kan, Prolean, Chamkar Leu, and Thmar Sar with a combined area of about 185 square kilometres, he added.

“For the last 30 years with the international donor’s support and our heroes in the national and international organisations, we were able to release roughly 2,379 square kilometres of landmine/ERW contaminated land that was released for productive purposes such as agriculture, resettlement, roads, schools, and other social infrastructure,” said H.E. Ly Thuch.

On this land, he continued, over 1.1 million anti-personnel mines, more than 26,000 anti-tank mines, and nearly 3 million explosive remnants of war including Cluster Munitions were found and destroyed, benefiting almost 7.5 million people.

H.E. Senior Minister said the signing ceremony represents yet another display of a long-standing and historic friendship between the Republic of India and the Kingdom of Cambodia. In contemporary terms, the diplomatic friendship between the two countries reached its 70th anniversary.

“Historically, this friendship spans almost 2,500 years and has influenced Cambodia in so many ways that it has been deeply ingrained into our culture and can be seen throughout the Kingdom,” he stated.

H.E. Ly Thuch extended his compliments to H.E. Dr. Devyani Uttam Khobragade and her colleagues from the Embassy of the Republic of India for their tireless efforts to pull off this mine-free village project.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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