Cambodia had been the scene of conflict since 1964. Communist forces of the South Vietnamese Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army had launched attacks into South Vietnam from bases in Cambodia. After the withdrawal of American forces in Vietnam on 29 March 1973, civil war continued to rage in Cambodia. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge (a communist faction) established a regime under the leadership of Pol Pot. In 1978, the pro-Soviet Vietnamese government, intent on removing Pol Pot's pro-Chinese administration, invaded Cambodia. After the withdrawal of Vietnamese forces, sporadic fighting continued. By 1990, the warring forces in Cambodia agreed to a ceasefire, and Cambodia began the difficult task of reconstruction.

The United Nations (UN) created the UN Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC) in 1991 to monitor the ceasefire and establish a program to remove the thousands of land mines that had been deployed during hostilities. The following year, 1992, another UN mission was dispatched to Cambodia, the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC). Its objective was to continue monitoring the ceasefire and begin removing land mines.

As a direct result, UN authorities established the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC). The Canadians contributed military personnel to train Cambodian troops in mine removal and deactivation. They were supported by troops of the Royal Canadian Regiment.


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