HALO Cambodia clearance milestone

In mid-2008 HALO Cambodia’s deminers achieved an extraordinary clearance milestone by surpassing 200,000 mines found and destroyed since our programme started in 1991.

A staggering 168,586 of these mines (84% of the total) were cleared from the northwest border districts where HALO has been concentrating its efforts since 2003.

It is not insignificant that during this same period the annual mine or Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) casualty numbers have dropped year on year from around 900 to less than 250.

For most of the nineteen nineties the north and west of the country was largely off-limits due to the fighting. After the final demise of the Khmer Rouge in 1998, rapid repopulation along the border districts was unsurprisingly matched by an unacceptably high mines/ERW casualty rate. HALO was the first to recognise how the mines problem had polarised and has since focussed its deminers on the dense accident causing minefields. In particular HALO is unashamedly targeting the infamous 1,046km long ‘K5’ mine-belt which was instigated in 1984 -1985 by the Vietnamese and Peoples Republic of Kampuchea high command in an attempt to seal the border. The K5 - a small section of which is shown in this HALO site clearance map – comprises some of the most densely mined land on the planet.

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