The Sapper Service under the Ministry of National Defence has introduced foreign military attachés in Vietnam to the country’s programme to remove unexploded ordnance left by wars.
At the working session in Hanoi on April 26, Colonel Phan Duc Tuan, Deputy Commander of the Sapper Service said that all 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam are polluted by bombs, mines and explosives over a total area of 66,000 sq.km, more than 20 percent of the country’s area.
At present, some 800,000 tonnes of wartime bombs, mines and explosives lay scattered across the nation, mainly in the six central provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai.
According to incomplete statistics, more than 100,000 Vietnamese people have been killed and wounded by bombs, mines and explosives since the war ended.
In past years, the Vietnamese Government has paid special attention to overcoming the consequences of bombs and mines and has poured dozens of millions of USD into bomb and mine clearance.
The Vietnamese Government has joined non-governmental organisations in supporting bomb and mine victims in central provinces . The country has also expanded cooperation with governments and international organisations in surmounting the consequences of unexploded bombs and mines.
It is estimated that Vietnam needs about 10 billion USD and more than 100 years to clear out all unexploded ordnance in the country.
Tuan said that the goal of a national programme on overcoming bomb and mine consequences is to utilise domestic and international resources to speed up the treatment of post-war bombs and mines, minimise the impacts of bombs and mines, ensure safety for people and help victims integrate into social life.
He suggested the military attachés seek aid sources for Vietnam as well as provide the country with equipment and technology and train experts and technicians serving the bomb and mine clearance task.
On behalf of foreign military attachés, Colonel Didier Oustric, Military Attaché of France, affirmed his call on governments and international organisations to continue effective support for the Vietnamese Government and people.-VNA