5 cambodian provinces declared mine free

During Vietnam and the Thai-Cambodian war the Border regions of Cambodia were heavily mined, with mines produced exclusively in China –  at least 8 million of them.  In the last 30 years the Cambodian Government and private de-mining charities have been systematically demining the country.  Demining which is very labour intensive now achieves 250 km2 of clearance per year in Cambodia.

A total of five provinces and the capital had been declared mine-free as of December, as Cambodia’s 2025 goal of becoming mine-free approaches.  Stung Treng, Kep, Prey Veng, Preah Sihanouk and Tbong Khmum were declared mine free in December 2022 and Kampong Cham, Takeo, Kampong Chhnang, Kampot, Svay Rieng, and Kandal are expected to be mine-free in 2023.

Provinces declared mine-free in 2022 (pink) and those expected to declared mine-free in 2023.

Unexploded ordnance (UXO, sometimes abbreviated as UO), unexploded bombs (UXBs), and explosive remnants of war (ERW or ERoW) are explosive weapons (bombs, shells, grenades, land mines, naval mines, cluster munition, and other munitions) that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, sometimes many decades after they were used or discarded. 

The major contributor to the Cambodian UXO legacy was the aerial bombing campaign conducted by the United States Airforce during the Vietnam War.  The most intense bombing was area denial along the Vietnamese border and the extent of this bombing can be see in the following images.  The total ordnance dropped was 2.8 Mt (6.1 billion pounds) comprising 2.5 million individual munitions carried in 230,000 sorties.

USAF Aerial bombing plotted by pounds of ordnance dropped. This includes conventional bombs, cluster munitions and rockets.
USAF Aerial bombing plotted by quantity of ordnance dropped. This includes conventional bombs, cluster munitions and rockets.

Land mine clearance organizations include