ViCTIMS OF A LONG FORGOTTEN WAR
A message to Obama on the legacy of war in Laos
As the first US president ever Barack Obama is visiting Laos 5-7 Sept. in Laos. The visit would be a splendid opportunity to adress the legacy of the massive US bombings in Laos during the war. More than 580.000 bombing missions were carried out over Laos from 1964 to 1973. One out of four villages are still contaminated by unexploded ordinance...
More than 50.000 people have been killed since the war ended. Every year there is approx. 300 new casualties. 40 percent of the victims are children. I met some of them at COPE, the rehabilitation center for victims in Vientiane.
COPE's educational exhibition center. Donations are welcome.
The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) - one of the NGOs involved in the clean-up.
A school teacher has found good use for a relic of the war in Laos.
Why Laos was a target: - North Vietnamese troops infiltrated South Vietnam through Laos. - The US bombed the Pathet Laos guerillas in a secret campaign. - The US airforce used Laos as a dumping ground, when bombers were forced to halt bombing raids due to heavy fire from Vietnamese anti-aircraft canons.
A welcome update
On 6 September 2016 in Vientiane, president Obama announced a USD 90 mio. grant to the clean-up of unexploded bombs in Laos.