Unexploded ordnance (UXO) still kills people in Laos. Parallel with the Vietnam War, the USA waged an undeclared war in Laos in the 1960’s and 1970’s. They dropped three million tons of bombs on Laos territory. At that time, the population of Laos was three million; that makes Laos the most heavily bombed country, per capita, in history. Based in two airfields in Thailand, fleets of B-52’s took off daily for bombing missions on Laos. They thus conducted some 580,000 missions over Laos. On their way back after accomplishing their missions, as they were not allowed to land with bombs on board, they just dropped remaining bombs at random on Laos territory. But 30% of the cluster munitions, locally called “bombies,” failed to detonate. So out of the 270 million “bombies” dropped onto Laos, 80 million unexploded bombs remain in Laos after the war. Over 50,000 people have been killed or injured as a result of UXO accidents in the period between 1964 and 2008. Specialists say it would need centuries to rid Laos of UXO. The World Peace Council expresses solidarity with and support to the victims of unexploded ordnances in Laos, demanding compensation and assumption of responsibility from the U.S. side.
22 July 2012