Japan requested that the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) continue to provide mine clearance training to Colombian deminers for another three years from 2023 to 2025. The request originated with Colombia as they wished to continue the training programme.
CMAC director general Heng Ratana said in June that the government of Japan – through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) – had funded a CMAC programme to strengthen the capacity and skills of Colombian deminers while sharing insights from Cambodia’s long history of dealing with the problem of landmines and unexploded ordnance.
Though some armed conflict continues in Colombia, a large portion of the problem was dealt with in 2016 when the Colombian government and the FARC rebels signed a peace deal. Today the difficult work of clearing Colombia of the remnants of war continues, with Japan and Cambodia providing important demining assistance through this training.
Ratana said that since 2010, CMAC has provided training to more than 180 Colombian deminers over 10 training courses. Seeing how successful the training has been, the Colombian government has submitted a new request to the government of Japan to support their deminers training in the Kingdom for another three years.
“The government of Japan has agreed to the request and requested that the government of the Kingdom of Cambodia designate CMAC to continue the training as per the Colombian government request. To fulfil this work, a CMAC delegation will travel to Colombia later this month,” Ratana said.
Last week, CMAC kicked off another round of training for 15 new Colombian deminers to increase their knowledge of the field and their operational management skills. The training course, which focused on quality management and operational standards, ended on June 9.