02.03.04, 10:38 #1
"Cambodia secures US funding to destroy anti-aircraft missiles
02/03/2004 at 06:04:51
Date line: PHNOM PENH
Cambodia is set to become the first Asian nation to destroy its cache of outdated anti-aircraft missiles after the US embassy announced Tuesday it would pay for the weapons to be destroyed.
The United States has initiated a global drive to secure or eliminate Man Portable Air Defense Systems, or MANPADS, which it fears international terrorists could use to launch devastating attacks on civilian aircraft.
"I am pleased to announce today that US government funding has been approved so that Cambodia can implement this initiative and that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces... will destroy the entire stock of Cambodian MANPADS," US ambassador to Phnom Penh Charles Ray told a press briefing.
Cambodia is accused of being a major source of illegal weapons which arm rebel groups across Asia including the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and militants in Indonesia's Aceh province.
The kingdom is awash with small arms after more than three decades of war which formally ended only in 1998.
The United States will provide 233,000 dollars to destroy Cambodia's 233 Soviet-era MANPADS and develop stockpile management techniques for the remainder of its weapons inventory, a US embassy spokesman said.
He told AFP that US ordnance experts would arrive in Cambodia on March 22 to assess the stockpile and that the destruction was expected to be completed by April 2.
Ray said that so far the United States has received commitments from eight countries to destroy more than 10,000 MANPADS and lauded Cambodia for being the only nation in Asia to make the pledge.
Cambodia's co-defence minister Tea Banh said the destruction of the missiles, imported from the former USSR during the 1980s, would ensure the kingdom was no longer accused of being a potential source of the weapons.
"I am confident that after the destruction of our missiles stockpile, Cambodia would no longer be subject to any assertion of being a source for channelling this kind of weapons to criminals," he said.
Thai authorities said last October that they were hunting for missiles believed to have been smuggled in from Cambodia, which it feared were destined for use in attacks during a summit of Pacific leaders including US President George W. Bush.
Global alarm over MANPADS was heightened last year when two of the weapons were fired at a chartered Israeli commercial jet as it was taking off in the Kenyan city of Mombasa.
© 2004 AFP"
02.03.04, 11:55 #2beat
02.03.04, 16:24 #3
"NATO destroys 3,000 surface-to-air missiles in Bosnia
02/03/2004 at 15:01:17
Date line: BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Hercegovina
NATO-led peacekeepers said Tuesday they had destroyed some 3,000 surface-to-air missiles collected in northwestern Bosnia from the armies of the country's two post-war entities.
"Some 3,000 missiles have been destroyed as they are no longer required by the entities' forces," Richard Morris, spokesman for the NATO-led Stabilisation Force (SFOR), told AFP.
He was referring to the armies of the Bosnian Serb entity, Republika Srpska, and the Muslim-Croat Federation's army.
"This is seen as a positive sign, because this means there is no danger of these weapons falling into the hands of extremists," Morris said without elaborating.
Some 75 percent of the destroyed surface-to-air missiles belonged to the Bosnian Serb army, he said.
Recently representatives of the international community present in Bosnia voiced concerns that shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles in the Balkan republic could end up in the wrong hands, and urged local authorities to destroy them.
The Bosnian Serb government announced in January it would destroy its entire arsenal of 4,000 surface-to-air missiles.
Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation make up Bosnia since the country's 1992-1995 war. They are linked with weak central institutions and each has its own parliament, government, police and army.
© 2004 AFP"
22.04.07, 10:22 #4MIASCB
MiG-21bis with old style Cambodian markings.
28.11.13, 22:10 #5