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Mines in Cambodgia

Mines in Cambodgia

The Origin of Mines

Thirty years of civil war in Cambodia has left in its ground several millions of mines and unexploded ordnance. The opponents on the one hand were the "Khmer Rouge" and on the other hand were the forces of Vietnam and Cambodia. Both of the enemies during the war widely used mines. Especially popular were the mines of the United States, China and the Soviet Union.

According to the LandMine Museum, in year 2010, under Siem Reap (a well-known resort in Cambodia) in the ground was still up to 6 million active mines. By now the areas that are popular among the tourists were completely cleared of mines, but even there, wandering through the famous Cambodian jungle, you cannot ignore the warning signs. In the other regions mines still pose a serious danger to the local residents.

From 1979 to the present day some 60,000 Cambodians have left on the minefields their own arms and legs. But not all of them, becoming disabled, became desperate and enclosed. On the contrary, many people who suffered serious injuries had the courage not only to start a new life, but also to dedicate it to protect other people from this terrible fate - search and demining the ordnances in the surrounding area.

Mines in Cambodgia

The War with Mines in Cambodia

There is such an organization - Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the main members of which are the people who became disabled when they stepped on a mine. They are committed to seek out in the land of Cambodia waiting for the victims the deadly iron.

As estimated by MAG and other similar international organizations, Handicap International, it may take another 50 years before the territory of Cambodia will be fully cleared of mines. Demining teams slowly and gently run across the country. This work is very time consuming and dangerous. Given the necessary security measures one engineer per day is scouring an average of 50 square meters. But at the same time they must also clear the jungle, and they are usually distracted by the false reports of the metal (in fact, the detectors respond not only to the mines, but also on any iron in the ground, even on an old nail), and sometimes come back to check missed land. And the destruction of each detected mines stop all work on the site. Mine is exploded from the distance of 200 meters with radio-controlled detonator, pre-placing explosives on it and setting the fuse. This is the work of the professional engineers requiring the highest precision and care. After the explosion in the earth remains a half-meter crater, broken branches for 15 meters around, dust and blue smoke. 

For the people working in the MAG organization this is already a little more than just a work. Would you be able to call a routine what you have to do every day to deactivate the mine, risk your life and your health, and watch how your coworkers are risking theirs? Making a single mine costs about 5 Euros. Detection and removal costs more than 1000 and may also costs a lot of lives. Human life is priceless. But for some reason those who organized the war, often forget about it.

New Of Cambodia