Mine action community has voiced its support for the Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen’s appeal to the U.S. and Ukraine not to use cluster bombs in the war with Russia.
“On behalf of the mine action community and victims of cluster bombs, I’d like to announce my support to the call of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, to the U.S. president not to provide and to the Ukrainian president not to use cluster bombs in the Russia-Ukraine war,” said H.E. Ly Thuch, Cambodia Senior Minister and First Vice President of Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) in a Facebook post this afternoon.
The decision to use cluster bombs in war will be devastating to innocent people and civilians, both during and after the war, he underlined, adding that the use of cluster bombs to eradicate each other is only short-term, but it needs time, money and many resources to resolve the issue which is often dangerous, especially for children, as well as causes serious social crises.
As a victim of civil war from the 1960s to the end of 1998, H.E. Ly Thuch stressed, Cambodia has already taken more than 30 years to destroy landmine and unexploded ordnance, including cluster bombs.
According to a CMAA’s report, since 2009, Cambodia has cleared some 344 square kilometres of land from cluster munitions, detecting and destroying 45,174 cluster munitions across 17 capital and provinces, and benefitting more than 1 million people.
As of June 2023, there are about 730 square kilometres of land contaminated by cluster bombs left in 18 capital and provinces, which is the Royal Government’s second priority plan after realising the mine-free goal by 2025.
In a Telegram message yesterday, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen urged the U.S. president, the donor and the Ukrainian president, the recipient not to use cluster bombs in the war with Russia because the real victims are the people, especially the Ukrainians.
“In the past few days, there have been news releases that the U.S. will provide cluster bombs for Ukraine to fight against the Russian army. If it is true, it will be the greatest danger for the Ukrainians for decades or even hundreds of years when the cluster bombs are used in Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia,” he wrote.
Samdech Techo Hun Sen mentioned about Cambodia's painful experience of the American bombardment in the early 1970s, saying that it has been more than half a century now, but they [cluster bombs] have not been all cleared yet.
Source: Agence Kampuchea Presse