Obama to Address Lethal Legacy of Secret War in Laos

Amy Sawitta Lefevre reports for Reuters:

[…] Addressing the legacy of war in Laos will be a focus of U.S. President Barack Obama’s trip this week to the country’s capital, Vientiane, for a meeting with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders and an East Asia Summit.

Obama, who will become the first sitting president of the United States to visit Laos, is expected to announce more funding to help clear leftover bombs and conduct Laos’ first national survey on unexploded ordnance.

“The big focus of the UXO programme over the next few years will be to conduct this comprehensive national survey on cluster munitions,” Balasubramaniam Murali, deputy resident representative to the United Nations Development Programme in Laos, told Reuters.

From 1964 to 1973, U.S. warplanes dropped more than 270 million cluster munitions on Laos, one-third of which did not explode, according to the Lao National Regulatory Authority for UXO (NRA).

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