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Japan, Cambodia collaborate to share demining expertise with Ukraine, other countries

by Olena Goncharova July 7, 2024 2:17 AM 2 min read
A sign that reads “Caution: mines” is taped on a beach on May 27, 2022, in Odesa, Ukraine. (Yevhen Zinchenko/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Japan’s foreign minister announced a collaborative initiative with Cambodia on July 6 to share land mine removal knowledge and technology with countries worldwide, including Ukraine.

During a visit to the Cambodian Mine Action Center, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa highlighted the center's origins in the 1990s, following Cambodia’s prolonged civil war, and its mission to address an estimated four to six million land mines and unexploded ordnance scattered across the country.

"Cambodia, which has steadily advanced mine removal within its own country, is now a leader in mine action around the world," Kamikawa remarked, according to the Associated Press.

Cambodian deminers, recognized as some of the world’s most experienced, have been deployed over the past decade under U.N. auspices to Africa and the Middle East. In 2022, Cambodia began training Ukrainian deminers, as Ukraine faces a high density of land mines and unexploded munitions due to the ongoing Russian aggression.

In its 2022 report, the NGO Landmine Monitor identified both Cambodia and Ukraine as being among nine countries with "massive" mine contamination, each having over 100 square kilometers (38.6 square miles) of uncleared land.

Since 2022, approximately 174,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian land have been contaminated with explosives, making 144,000 square kilometers potentially dangerous.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry specialists have cleared 30,000 square kilometers of Ukraine over the past two years - an area comparable to the size of Belgium or Moldova.

Several countries, including Cambodia, Colombia, Sweden, and Denmark have extended their support to Ukraine by assisting in demining efforts, offering training, and providing essential equipment.

Lithuania to send 14 M113 armored personnel carriers for Ukraine’s demining efforts
Lithuania will send Ukraine 14 M113 armored personnel carriers to assist in the country’s demining efforts, the country’s defense ministry announced on June 12.

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