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Landmine Efforts Ten Years Behind, PM Says

Cambodia will not be free of landmines until at least 2020, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday, ten years later than it had hoped.

The country's deminers had thought they could clear the country by 2010, following the signing of a land mine treaty in 2000, but the remnants of Cambodia's conflicts have been difficult to eradicate.

Millions of landmines and unexploded ordnance remain in the country, and even when they have been cleared in Cambodia, Hun Sen said, "the mine [problem] is not finished."

"Afghanistan will still have it, [as well as] Sudan, Iraq, Congo and other places that have conflicts," Hun Sen said.

As a signatory to the landmine treaty, Cambodia does not produce mines, but other countries continue to make, sell and implement them, he said.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay criticized Cambodia's slow rate of demining, saying that if it could send deminers to other countries, like a recent mission to Sudan, it should be able to clear its own mines.