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Past warfare caused heavy casualties in Cambodia: PM


Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet said on Monday that past internal conflict and "irresponsible" aerial bombardment had left heavy casualties in the Southeast Asian country, and all burdens have fallen on the current government.

He made the remarks during an event marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which fell on December 3.

"Internal conflict and million-tonne aerial bombardment had left millions of people wounded, disabled and dead without responsibilities, and all burdens have fallen on the Cambodian government in this era," he told the event, which was attended by more than 2,000 people with disabilities.

He also called on national and international communities to enhance rights for disabled persons and protect them against any form of discrimination.

Cambodia is one of the countries worst affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs). An estimated four to six million landmines and other munitions had been left over from three decades of war and internal conflicts that ended in 1998.

According to Yale University, between 1965 and 1973, the United States had dropped some 230,516 bombs on 113,716 sites in Cambodia.

Cambodian Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Chea Somethy said the kingdom has some 872,527 persons with disabilities, equivalent to 5.3 percent of the total population."Diseases, malnutrition, old age, heredity, and landmine and explosive remnants of war accidents, among others, are main risk factors for disabilities," he said.

(Cover: A mass of war-era unexploded ordnance unearthed from the grounds of a high school in Kratie province, Cambodia, August 13, 2023. /Xinhua)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency

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