x

Society

Cambodian Deminers Aid Cyprus

As unity talks drone on, one of the key problems facing Cyprus – removing land mines – is being helped by experts from Cambodia.

There is an 11-member team under the United Nations auspices clearing unexploded mines left behind from the unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion.

The deminers work in an arid field inside a UN-controlled buffer zone that runs across the east Mediterranean island.

Kneeling under a scorching summer sun, each one meticulously circles his working space with red rope before scooping away dirt with a small spade and sweeping a metal detector across the area, Agence France Presse reported in a feature.

Over the past decade, deminers have removed more than 27,000 landmines from the buffer zone, with land reclaimed for agricultural use.

Lieutenant Sovannara Leang, who leads the team, uses skills to help other countries riddled with mines. He joined the UN demining operations program in 2009.

His assistant Sous Choom swapped his army uniform for a metal detector in 2000 and was part of a Cambodian team that helped demine South Sudan. Others have operated in Lebanon and Mali.

The team even hosted Daniel Craig, the movie star who plays James Bond, when he visited to support international de-mining operations.

 

“For these peacekeepers to take their expertise, gleaned over the last 40 years in Cambodia, and make it available to the people of Cyprus, half-way around the world, is truly inspiring,” said Craig.

Nearly three decades of civil war has left poverty-stricken Cambodia one of the most heavily-mined countries in the world.

Nearly 20,000 people have been killed there since 1979 and twice as many have been wounded in landmine and unexploded ordnance accidents.

Cyprus “is little compared to what they have had to deal with unfortunately in their country,” Major General Kristin Lund, head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, told AFP.

RELATED

NICOSIA — Israel on Thursday dispatched two water-dropping aircraft to help battle a large wildfire that has scorched at least 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of forest in the foothills of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.