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Landmines in Cambodia: Past, Present, and Future By Wade C. Roberts ...

Chapter 1:  History and Consequence
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Landmines in Cambodia:

Chapter 1

History and Consequence

If you desire to understand today, you have to start by searching yesterday.

––Pearl Buck

1.1. Introduction

Throughout the past century, Cambodians have endured colonial occupations by the French and the Vietnamese, US bombing raids, genocide by the Khmer Rouge, and civil war lasting more than 20 years. Cambodians have also had to deal with agricultural droughts and floods, starvation, disease, human trafficking, resource exploitation by foreign powers, involuntary repatriation movements, and the ever-present danger of encountering landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Cambodia is a poor, agrarian-based country. GDP per capita in Cambodia was US$385in 2005 (National Institute of Statistics [NIS] 2006). Agricultural output accounted for 29% of the GDP in 2007 but involved 60% of the labor force. Life expectancy at birth in 2007 stood