40 years after US secret bombing exposed, US Congressional hearing looks at leftover unexploded bombs

Posted: Apr 17, 2010


40 years after U.S. secret bombing exposed, U.S. Congressional hearing looks at leftover unexploded bombs

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment, chaired by Rep. Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), will examine the issue of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in Laos and U.S. funding for their removal.

Background:

  • Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history. U.S. Vietnam War-era bombings from 1964-1973 resulted in over 260 million cluster bomblets dropped (five times more bombs than were dropped on Iraq
  • Today, more than 75 million unexploded cluster bomblets litter forests, rice fields, villages, school grounds, roads and other populated areas in Laos, hindering development and poverty reduction.
  • The massive bombing campaign left over one-third of Laos contaminated with vast quantities of unexploded ordnance.
  • Over 20,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO since the bombing ceased, with close to 300 new casualties in Laos occurring every year.
  • More than half of all confirmed cluster munitions casualties in the world have occurred in Laos.
  • About 40% of the accidents result in death, and 33% of the victims are children.
  • The U.S. spent more in 3 days bombing Laos than it has spent in the last 15 years cleaning the bombs up.

Witnesses will include: Scott Marciel of the U.S. Department of State, Channapha Khamvongsa of Legacies of War, Robert Keeley of the Humpty Dumpty Institute and Virgil Wiebe of the Mines Advisory Group.

About Legacies of War

Legacies of War is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs, to provide space for healing the wounds of war, and to create greater hope for a future of peace.

Contact

Channapha Khamvongsa, Executive Director, Legacies of War Cell: (703) 868-0030 Email: channapha@legaciesofwar.org


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