U.S. cuts $2-mln funding to Cambodia’s mine removal effort amid crackdown

The United States will cut $2 million in funding next year to Cambodia’s leading landmine clearance body, the group said on Tuesday, in what it called a bid to silence government criticism about Vietnam War-era bombs dropped by the U.S.

The cut comes amid a crackdown on critics of authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who could face the biggest electoral challenge of his career in a general election next year, and amid a surge in anti-American rhetoric.

Hun Sen’s opponents see the crackdown as an effort to shore up his party’s strength ahead of the vote.

The Norwegian People’s Aid, which channels $2 million from the United States for mine and cluster bomb clearance, will halt funding next year, said Heng Ratana, director-general of the government’s Cambodian Mine Action Centre.

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Source: Thompson Reuters