Cambodian soldiers are heading to Sudan to support a United Nations landmine clearing operation.

About 109 soldiers are leaving the capital, Phnom Penh, Saturday for the northeast African nation, joining 26 other Cambodians already there.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has hailed the mission as historic and a great honor.  It is Cambodia's first time taking part in a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

The United Nations estimates up to 20,000 people are killed or maimed by landmines worldwide every year and that at least one-fifth of the victims are children.

Nearly three decades of civil war, which ended in the 1990s, left Cambodia as one of the worst mine-affected countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.