On Deadly Ground: Unexploded Ordnance And Agent Orange In Cambodia

On January 10th 2022, an anti-tank mine killed three deminers affiliated with the NGO Cambodian Self-Help Demining in northern Cambodia. This tragic incident is a reminder that despite considerable progress, deminers have yet to clear 2,034 kilometres strewn with landmines and cluster bombs, according to the Phnom Penh Post. The Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) issued a report last year stating that between 1979 and 2021, landmines and other ERW (Explosive Remnants of War) claimed 19,805 lives. Cambodia is also home to the world’s largest amputee population.

Multiple investigations in the Phnom Penh Post found evidence that the United States Army sprayed chemicals like dioxin, also known as Agent Orange, on southern Cambodian villages in the early seventies. People directly exposed to Agent Orange suffered from cancers, heart disease, and respiratory problems, while their descendants are born with crippling deformities and cognitive impairments.

Reports in The Atlantic added that researchers at Columbia University and the Institute for Cancer Prevention say that the U.S. military sprayed around 40,900 gallons of Agent Orange in Cambodia. However, the U.S. government has not offered any financial assistance to affected Cambodians who struggle to afford astronomical healthcare bills. FULL STORY CONTINUES HERE

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