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Laos: Clusters of Death PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mennonite Central Committee   
Thursday, 11 March 2010 16:48

Link to source: http://clusterbombs.mcc.org/clusterbombs/resources/research/death/laos_appendix.html

The Air War

Bounpheng and familyFrom 1964 to 1973, Laos endured one of the most intensive bombing campaigns in history, as the US attempted to destroy the social and economic infrastructure of the Pathet Lao communist forces. Part of the larger war in Indochina, the US bombing attempted to block the flow of supplies over the Ho chi Minh trail which went through southern Laos. In addition, the US bombed northern Laos in support of Royal Lao Government military campaigns.

During the war, the US dropped over 6 million conventional bombs and likely well over a 100 million cluster bomblets.[1] The 580,000 bombing missions flown over Laos equaled one bombing mission every eight minutes ‘round the clock, for nine full years. In Xieng Khouang Province, one of the most heavily bombed areas, an estimated 300,000 tons of bombs were dropped, equaling more than two tons per inhabitant. A 1971 US Information Service refugee survey found that at least 80% of the victims were civilians.[2]

Because of the air war, many Lao villagers fled to the larger cities where they lived in refugee camps. A significant number, however, stayed near their villages, living in caves and forests in order to escape the bombing. Many of these villagers lived in caves for years, doing their field work under cover of darkness, and hiding their cooking fires so they would not be seen by the bombers. Villagers in Xieng Khouang repeatedly assert that the air war did not distinguish between military and civilian targets, and that any sign of life or activity risked an attack by the bombers.[3]

 

After the War

When the war ended, tens of thousands of Lao villagers returned to their homes. In most cases, everything had been destroyed. They had to rebuild their homes, repair the paddy dikes in their rice fields, and open up the soil with shovels and hoes. They carried on this intensive work in the midst of a staggering array of still-lethal unexploded ordnance which littered the soil. Unknown to them, their villages had become one vast, unmarked minefield. Indeed, the population tended to resettle along the roads for easier access to markets and health care. Ironically, these were the areas of heaviest bombing, and consequently the areas most infested with unexploded ordnance. According to estimates of ordnance clearance agencies working in Laos, “there were probably in excess of nine million BLU 26 bomblets still unexploded at the end of the war.”[4]

In the aftermath of the war, Lao villagers had to deal with the scourge of unexploded ordnance by themselves. Mr. Thongsavanh, a teacher in Xieng Khouang Province during the war years, remembers instructing his students to pick up the strange round pieces of ordnance which appeared in the forests and hillsides near his school. “I didn’t know it was dangerous,” he recalled. “I thought since the bombs hadn’t blown up on impact they weren’t dangerous anymore.”[5]

Typically, when villagers found ordnance in their fields and gardens, they simply removed it with their bare hands. They found within themselves a courage borne out of necessity. Farming was their livelihood, and the only land available to them was filled with bombs. Indeed, with the passage of time, villagers became almost casual in their approach to the ever-present bomblets. The account of Mennonite Central Committee worker Titus Peachey’s visit with Mr. Thong Dee in Lek Village illustrates.

When I asked Mr. Thong Dee if any bombies had been turned up during the plowing thus far (1 _ hectares), he matter-of-factly replied that over 20 bombies had been plowed up the previous day. Some of the bombies he had thrown/placed into a hole just at the edge of the plowed field. As I walked over to the hole and peered over the edge, Mr. Thong Dee hurriedly pulled away the weeds and scrap metal he had placed on top, to reveal the 4 or 5 bombies underneath. Noticing that I was about to take a picture, he quickly moved each bombie into clearer view, handling them like they were merely billiard balls.[6]

Another Lao villager, when asked why he continues to grow vegetables in a location where he has found bomblets, responded by saying:

I can’t move my garden. There wouldn’t be any point to it anyway. If I moved it to a new location, I’d just find more bomblets there. So I might as well keep it where it is.[7]

Deaths and Injuries

Tragically, as Lao villagers moved back to their villages and farms after the war, they were to discover that the war had not ended for them. Unexploded cluster bombs which were buried in the soil, hidden in the weeds, or lying exposed on top of the soil exacted a grim toll of suffering and death.

In the first twenty-five years following the end of the war, over 11,000 people were killed or injured by unexploded ordnance, according to recent surveys.[8] Injuries continue to the present day. In fact, the number of casualties has remained steady since the mid-1980's despite expanding clearance efforts and community awareness programs.[9] Aid workers cite expanding population and more intensive land use as the likely reason for this. As more new land is brought into production, the number of encounters withUXO rises, keeping the casualty rate steady.

According to data collected in 1998, the percentage of child victims is on the rise. Forty per cent of UXO victims are killed outright. Fourteen of Laos’ provinces are affected by UXO, and 25% of the country’s villages remain severely contaminated.[10]

Statistics from Xieng Khouang province, one of the most heavily bombed regions in Laos, provide a detailed window into casualty rates. In the districts of Moung Bek and Moung Kham Xieng Khouang province, by late 1995, information had been gathered on over 1500 accidents since 1973. 56% of the victims had died of their injuries.[11] As time passes, the fatality rate seems to have decreased. According to statistics gathered in the Moung Bek district of Xieng Khuong province from October 1994-January 1995, 43% of the persons involved in UXO accidents were killed, and 57% injured.[12]

For the year of 1995 in the Moung Bek and Moung Kham districts of Xieng Khouang province, Mines Advisory Group data gatherers reported 66 victims of UXO; 14 killed and 51 injured. 36 of those victims (or 55%) were children. 57% of the injuries and deaths resulted from daily economic activities (working fields, cutting tress, building fires, looking for food, or grazing animals) and 30% from playing with UXO. The remaining victims included bystanders and other causes.[13]

One of the most startling and disturbing facts to emerge from this data collection is the extraordinary high proportion of children affected. Forty three per cent of those injured and killed are 15 years old and younger (compared with statistics from landmine ridden Cambodia [where landmines are the primary problem], which report 7% of those killed are 18 years old or younger).[14] Ironically, the high percentage of youthful casualties almost certainly means that a majority of those injured or killed by the cluster bomblets had not yet been born when the bombs fell.

The United Nations Development Program places the figure of those injured and killed under the age of fifteen at 44%, and attributes the high rate of injury to children to their being born after the war. Children often fail to recognize ordnance for what it is, instead mistaking it for play things. In an environment without many manufactured toys, the lure of these small round objects is almost irresistible. Thirty five per cent of accidents are caused by farmers striking bomblets as they till their fields.[15]

As one will quickly notice from the accounts to follow, the stories of injury and death take on numbingly repetitious qualities, year after year: children killed and injured while playing and working, farmers killed and injured while tilling their fields.

On November 22, 1993, four year old Kou Ya was playing along the roadside outside Phonsavan with his seven year old sister Sia Ya. He picked up a bomblet and threw it behind his sister. It exploded, killing him instantly. His sister died in hospital two days later.[16]

On 15 January 1995, a 13 year old boy, Deth, . . . was clearing roots from the land when his hoe hit a “bombi” causing it to explode. Deth was seriously injured, and his 16 year old sister Pheng was injured on the face and body. Other family members who were present also suffered minor injuries. Deth was taken to the local District hospital where he died a few hours later. Pheng and her husband were taken to the Provincial hospital, however, because of the cost of treatment, they had to leave before Pheng was well.[17]

While tilling the family rice paddy behind a water buffalo in May 1996, 15 year old Ton Kemla’s plow hit a long-hidden cluster bomblet that exploded and ripped apart his genitals.[18]

On February 28, 1995, in [Ban Theun, Keth Samyek Nongpeth, Muong Bek], 58 year old Mr. Khammone was cutting bamboo when his knife slipped and struck a bombie, causing it to explode. He was seriously injured and died one day later at Military Hospital 101. Three boys nearby, aged 6, 15, and 16, suffered leg injuries.[19]

On March 18, 1995, 15 year old Thao Mee struck a bombie while beginning to dig a fish pond in his family’s rice paddy in Ban Koua, Muong Khoune, Xieng Khouang. The bombie’s explosion “made Thao Mee’s face and his body, his legs and his arms full of shrapnels,” according to the accident report. He was taken to hospital the following day. He stopped breathing and had to be revived. Within three weeks, his right arm had to be amputated. While follow-up medical care was needed, his family ran out of money after selling off all of their chickens and pigs to pay for treatment.[20]

On April 15, 1995, in the village of Ban Tachok, Mrs. Iaya was killed when her hoe struck a bomblet while she was digging holes to plant banana trees.[21] On July 9, 1995, in the village of Ban Ban, Muong Kham, 60 year old Mr. Bounsomphone was killed instantly when he struck a bombie while preparing a plot for a water buffalo shelter.[22]

: On May 18, 1995, nine year old Tao Yer Ver was tending cattle in Keth Tetsabahn, Muong Nonghet with his brother and sister when he discovered a bombie, which he picked up and threw. He was killed instantly.[23] The very same month, four children herding cattle tried unsuccessfully to pry open a bomblet to use the shot inside for their slingshots. They enlisted 12 year old Yeng Hen’s help, who was killed instantly after he threw the bombie against hard soil.[24]

In 1997, Mr. Tung Soun sent his three sons out to complete the preparation of his upland rice field for planting, by burning off the remaining scrub. “There was a sudden explosion, and Lai, 8 and Thi, 12, watched in horror as a bombie claimed the life of their brother Thai, aged 10. It had been set off by the heat from the burning stubble.”[25]

Because of the proliferation of cluster bomblets, and the central role of agricultural activity in the lives of most villagers, it is not unusual to encounter families who have suffered multiple cluster bomb accidents. In addition to the emotional burdens this places on the survivors, multiple accident families often find themselves in very difficult economic circumstances. Sometimes children are orphaned, and must be placed in the care of other relatives. Sometimes a family loses its primary laborer, and must depend on relatives or other villagers for help.

Clearance Efforts

Aside from Soviet clearance efforts on one state farm, and small-scale, experimental assistance from the Mennonite Central Committee and Quaker Service Laos, Lao villagers were left alone to struggle with the deadly debris of war on their land for over 20 years.[26]

Beginning in the mid-1990s, a coordinated effort between the Lao government, the non-governmental community, and the international community was initiated. Begun in 1994 by the Mennonite Central Committee, the Mines Advisory Group, and the Lao Government, the project quickly drew the attention of UN agencies and other governments. As funding became available, the project grew. Currently, UXO clearance, training, and community awareness activities are being conducted in nine provinces by six international mine clearance organizations and military advisors..[27] From 1996-98, over 122,000 pieces of UXO were cleared, approximately 50-75% of that total being cluster bomblets.[28] By the year 2000, eight international partners, in cooperation with the Lao government and local partners, are clearing unexploded ordnance in 9 of the country’s 18 provinces and educating local people as to the dangers of unexploded ordnance.[29]

Cluster bomb clearance operations in Laos are almost a mirror image of the typical mine clearance operation. While mine fields may not always be well-defined, in most cases, a contaminated area is identified and marked for clearance. The area surrounding the mine field is presumed to be free of mines, and safe for every day activities. In Laos, however, the opposite situation faced clearance agencies when they began work in 1994.

The air war over Laos delivered millions of submunitions over large areas of territory during a nine year period. Thus when clearance teams began to clear specific sites such as a school yard, they quickly realized that the surrounding area which had not been cleared, was still likely to contain dangerous ordnance. In a province such as Xieng Khouang where the bombing was extremely heavy, clearance operations created, in effect, tiny islands of safety in a vast sea of lethal ordnance.

The enormous scale of the problem led to the creation of several types of ordnance clearance teams. Roving teams went from village to village in order to destroy the bomblets which rested on top of the soil, posing an immediate threat to normal village activity, especially to children. While this type of clearance did not render an area ordnance-free, it did reduce the threat.

Over the years, roving teams were often called back to the same tract of land more than once, because ordnance which is buried will slowly work its way to the surface. In addition, erosion from heavy rains will uncover ordnance which is just under the surface.

Clearance teams using metal detectors were then reserved for specific projects such as construction sites, garden plots, or high traffic areas. Sub-surface clearance operations at a high school in Houa Phan Province, removed more than 300 bomblets from the school courtyard.[30] This type of clearance does make an area safe for all types of use. The slow, tedious pace however, makes it impractical to use this type of clearance on the large expanses of agricultural land, grazing land, and forest which surround many villages.

From its initial training of 20 Lao “deminers” in 1994, the project expanded to just over 1,000 employees by May of 2000. Despite these clearance efforts, there are still great quantities of ordnance around, even today. In village after village throughout northern Laos, villagers can take a willing visitor to the fence row, bomb crater, or hole in the ground where they have placed or thrown an unexploded bomblet.[31]

Weapons Used and Dud Rates[32]

In Laos, deminers and victims have encountered an amazing range of unexploded ordnance, including experimental models of cluster submunitions. The most common forms of submunitions encountered, however, have been the BLU-24, the BLU-26, the BLU-61, and the BLU-63. Of these, the most common bomblet found in Laos is the BLU-26.[33] For example, villagers and clearance personnel discovered 133 BLU-26 bomblets and two large bombs under the school yard in the village of Ban Khangnhao, Xieng Khouang province in April 1995.[34]

BLU-24/B.

The BLU-24/B bomblet, designed during the Vietnam conflict to penetrate jungle canopy before exploding, was referred to by the Vietnamese as an “orange” due to its shape. It is a 1.6 pound cyclotol-filled antipersonnel fragmentation bomblet made of cast nodular graphitic iron. The CBU-25 dispensed the BLU-24/B.[35]

BLU-26/B

According to the Federation of American Scientists, BLU-26 submunitions are delivered by the CBU-75 Sadeye cluster bomb:

The CBU-75 Sadeye is a cluster bomb unit filled with 1,800 one-pound bomblets such as the BLU-26. This submunition is a cast steel shell with aerodynamic vanes and 0.7 pound of TNT in which 600 razor-sharp steel shards are imbedded. The BLU-26 can be equipped with fuses to explode upon impact, several yards above ground, or some time after landing. It is lethal up to about 40 feet. The CBU-75 has a total lethal area more than double that of a standard 2,000-pound bomb, the equivalent of 157 football fields.[36]

According to Mines Advisory Group demining teams, the BLU-26 contains 300 small iron ball bearings.[37]

BLU-61/B.

The BLU-61/B is a spherical, grenade-like anti-pers[on]nel fragmentation bomblet about the size of a tennis ball. The CBU-49 carries 217 submunitions, while the CBU-52 carries 254.[3]

The CBU-52, loaded with 220 antimaterial, antiperso[n]nel [BLU-61/B] bomblets, weighs 785 pounds and can be used with a variety of proximity fuzes or the mechanical MK-339 timed fuze. The submunition is a 3.5-inch spherical bomblet weighing 2.7 pounds with a 0.65-pound high-explosive warhead.[4]

The CBU-58 is loaded with 650 bomblets. These [BLU-63/B] bomblets contain 5- gram titanium pellets, making them incendiary and useful against flammable targets.

The CBU-52, -58 and -71 all use SUU-30 dispensers, a metal cylinder divided longitudinally. One-half contains a strong back section that provides for forced ejection and sway-bracing. The two halves lock together. Four cast aluminum fins are attached at a 9~degree angle to the aft end of the dispenser and are canted 1.25 degrees to impart spin-stabilized flight. When released from the aircraft, the arming wire/lanyard initiates the fuze arming and delay cycle. At fuze function, the fuze booster ignites and unlocks the forward end of the dispenser. Ram air action on the dispenser forces the two halves apart, instantaneously dispensing the payload and allowing the bomblets to spin-arm and self-dispense. A total of 17,831 were expended during the Gulf War.[44]

Manufacturers estimated a 10% failure rate for cluster bomblets, “but it is now generally agreed that the actual rate was 30% because the ordnance was often not dropped in accordance with manufacturers specifications.”[45]

Antipersonnel Mine Characteristics

In August/September 1995, a US military team visited Laos with the purpose of advising the US Pacific Command to examine demining/UXO clearance options. In the official report following the trip, the following assessment was made:

All of these villages possess severe ordinance [sic] problems as a result of both ground fighting and aerial bombardment. Ordinance [sic] ranges from submunitions to 2000 lb bombs of various types and origins. The presence of ordinance [sic] has altered the way villagers work the land. Submunitions consist of three types: impact fused, time delay fused, and anti-disturbance fused. The anti-disturbance fused submunitions clearly represent anti-personnel “landmine” devices. Impact and time delay fused submunitions on the ground after 23+ years may be considered duds but are very unstable. Because there is no way to determine the type of fuse of the remaining CBUs, they must all be treated as anti-disturbance devices. US doctrine considers all areas littered with submunitions (regardless of fuse type) as minefields.[46]

This US government report echoes what has been repeatedly said for thirty years: unexploded cluster bomblets are in effect landmines. The nature of injury, the high fatality rates among victims, and the high percentage of children victims all combine to cause superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering. The cluster bombs’ mine like qualities (small, detonation by contact with persons, hidden, lethal over decades) and the power of the blast make them inherently indiscriminate.

On January 10, 1998, seven children were killed instantly, and one seriously injured, in Namsai Village, Xieng Khouang Province. The children, ranging in age from four years to age eleven, found a cluster bomb while looking for wood in an adjacent forest. They brought the bomb into the village where they tried to take it apart. It exploded, killing three children from the same family, along with four cousins.[47]

Under existing law, there is nothing to prevent these kinds of accidents from happening in the future. Despite nearly 30 years of development since the end of the air war in Laos, cluster munitions continue to create large, unmarked mine fields which remain lethal for decades. The results of the air war over Serbia and Kosovo are sad testimony to our unwillingness to learn from the terror experienced by Lao villagers over the past 35-40 years. Cluster munitions are indiscriminate. Cluster munitions kill long after a war is over. Cluster munitions should be banned.

November, 2000


[1] Eric Prokosch, The Technology of Killing: A Military & Political History of Antipersonnel Weapons (London: Zed Press, 1995), Copyright Page. Estimates are that 285 million BLU-26 cluster bomblets were dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia during the war. Assuming 1/3 of these were dropped on Laos, as was the pattern with other ordnance, this would indicate a total of 85-90 million BLU-26 bomblets during the 9-year bombing campaign. More than 10 additional kinds of cluster bomblets have been identified during clearance operations, suggesting an astronomical number of cluster munitions were dropped on Laos. Prokosch, p. 122, and Jim Monan, Curse of the Bombies: A Case Study of Saravan Province, Laos, Oxfam, Hong Kong, 1998, p. 14.

The cluster bombs used in Laos were dropped from aircraft. Some were ejected from long tubes, while others were “delivered” by a large “mother bomb” which opened up in mid-air to disperse the bomblets over a wide area.

[2] Bruce Shoemaker, “Legacy of the Secret War: The Continuing Problem of Unexploded Ordnance in Xieng Khouang Province, Laos, and the Response of the Mennonite Central Committee and the American Friends Service Committee, 1972-1994,” Mennonite Central Committee Paper, March 1994 <http://uxo.apdip.net/workplan.htm> . [hereinafter Lao UXO Workplan 1999]. Considerable protest was made at the time due to the high rate of civilian casualties during the actual use of cluster munitions. See, e.g., Eric Pro

[3] Numerous interviews with Lao villagers in Xieng Khouang and Houa Phan Province Laos, 1980-1985, 1994, & 2000, by Titus Peachey and Linda Gehman Peachey, Mennonite Central Committee workers. See also Fred Branfman, Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life under an Air War, Harper and Row, 1972.

[4] Rae McGrath, Cluster Bombs: The Military Effectiveness and Impact on Civilians of Cluster Munitions, (London: UK Working Group on Landmines & Mennonite Central Committee US, 2000), p. 31. This estimate is based on a conservative 10% dud rate.

[5] Personal interview with Titus Peachey, September, 1994.

[6] Titus Peachey, Xieng Khouang Trip Report, April 24-29, 1984, MCC Laos Program, p. 6

[7] Conversation between Lao villager and Titus Peachey, MCC Worker, Xieng Khouang Province, Laos, September 1994.

[8] Handicap International, National Survey of the Socio-Economic Impact of Unexploded Ordnance in Lao PDR, May 1997.

[9] Handicap International, National Survey, p. 8.

[10] Lao UXO Workplan 1999, pp. 3-4. Farmers and gatherers of forest products constitute a large proportion of casualties, as do those attempting to salvage munitions for scrap metal. Id.

[11] Helen Buhaenko, Village Representatives Training Day, MAG Community Awareness Programme Dec. 95- Jan. 96, in Mennonite Central Committee Memo, Mar. 19, 1996 [hereinafter MCC Mar. 96 Memo].

[12] Chart dated April 28, 1995, in MCC/MAG Mar-April 1995 Report.

[13] Mines Advisory Group, Data-Gathering team report for 1995, Moung Pek and Moung Kham, Xieng Khouang, in Ann Martin, “New Batch of UXO Project Materials,” MCC Mar. 96 Memo.

[14] Open Paper entitled “The Impact of Unexploded Ordnance on the People of Laos since 1975” presented to Cambodia Landmines Conference by Soumaly Dengchampha, at 1 (hereinafter Dengchampha, “The Impact of Unexploded Ordnance”), in MCC/MAG Unexploded Ordnance Removal Project Report, Xieng Khouang, Lao PDR 1 May -31 July 1995 (hereinafter “MCC/MAG May-July 1995 Report”).; see also Draft Agreement for the UNDP Trust Fund Nationwide Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Initiative Lao PDR, 19 April 1995, at 2 [hereinafter “UNDP Draft”].

[15] Id. See also, “US Military to help Laos clear leftover ordnances,” Asian Political News, Kyodo News International, 25 March 1996.

[16] Summary Description of Unexploded Ordnance Project, Xieng Kuoang, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mennonite Central Committee and the Mines Advisory Group, undated.

[17] Dengchampha, “The Impact of Unexploded Ordnance.”

[18] Catherine Toups, "Vietnam War still takes toll on Laos; Unexploded bombs often maim, kill,” Washington Times, June 28, 1996, p. A19.

[19] Accident Reports 20 February -1 March 1995, in MCC/MAG Mar-April 1995 Report.

[20] Accident Report, Accident date 18 March 1995, in MCC/MAG Mar-April 1995 Report.

[21] Accident Report, Accident date 15 April 1995, in MCC/MAG Mar-April 1995 Report.

[22] Accident Report, Accident date 9 July 1995, in MCC/MAG May-July 1995 Report.

[23] Accident Report, Accident date 18 May 1995, in MCC/MAG May-July 1995 Report.

[24] Linda Sormin Bruce, “Young Victims of an Old War,” UNICEF Vientiane Feature, UNICEF Information Sheet, in MCC/MAG May-July 1995 Report.

[25] Jim Monan, Curse of the Bombies: A case study of Saravan Province, Laos, Oxfam Hong Kong, 1998, p. 12.

[26] For more information on Mennonite and Quaker efforts to assist Laos with unexploded ordnance in the post war period, see: “Legacy of the Secret War,” by Bruce Shoemaker, 1994. http://www.mcc.org/misc/SecretWar.html

[27] Lao UXO Workplan 1999.

[28] Id., pp. 4, 14.

[29] The agencies involved are Mines Advisory Group, Handicap International, Gerbera Demining, Norwegian People’s Aid, Belgium Military Advisors, UN Development Programme, UN Children’s Fund, & World Vision Australia. For further information on current clearance projects, go to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme website, http://uxo.apdip.net

[30] Titus Peachey, Mennonite Central Committee worker. Field visit to Houa Phan Province, May, 2000.

[31] See section on anecdotal evidence, p. 15.

[32] This section is based primarily on data from the MCC/MAG/Lao clearance project begun in Xieng Khouang province in late 1994, now being continued by MAG.

[33] Dengchampha, “The Impact of Unexploded Ordnance,” p. 1

[34] MAG Fax Message XK-UKO 3.26 from Don MacDonald to Rae McGrath dated 16 April 1995, in MCC/MAG Unexploded Ordnance Removal Project - Xieng Khouang, Lao PDR Monthly Report 1 March -30 April 1995 [hereinafter MCC/MAG Mar-April 1995 Report]. In a joint project between the Lao government, Mennonite Central Committee and Mines Advisory Group, a clearance effort in Xieng Khouang province was initiated in mid 1994. From the beginning of the project through January 1996, 9009 items of ordnance were destroyed, 5060 of which were bomblets. 3465 of those were BLU-26s (or 68%), 1029 were BLU-24s (or 20%), 491 were BLU-63s (or about 10%) and 54 were BLU-61s (about 1%). MAG Monthly Report - January 1996 dated 10 Feb. 1996, in MCC Mar. 96 Memo. In much smaller numbers, the following submunitions were also discovered: BLU-3/B, BLU-17B, BLU-45B, BLU-49/B, Rockeye-Mk118. Id.

[35] Eric Prokosch, The Technology of Killing, p. 104 & fn. 69. The BLU-24/B used an adapted M219 fuze which employed a “spin decay mechanism” so the bomblet would not explode until it rotation slowed below 2,000 rpm. Id., citing to US Air Force Armament Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, 1967, ‘Ballistic Results of the Engineering Evaluation of the CBU-25/A,’ final report, 4 January-20 April 1966, abstract. The CBU-25 was a SUU-14 dispenser, which took on a different CBU designation, depending on which submunitions it dispensed. Id., p. 104.

[36] Federation of American Scientists website, <[37] Helen Buhaenko, Village Representatives Training Day, MAG Community Awareness Programme Dec. 95- Jan. 96, in MCC Mar. 96 Memo.

38 Federati[on] of American Scientists website, <http://uxo.apdip.net/workplan.htm> . [hereinafter Lao UXO Workplan 1999]. Considerable protest was made at the time due to the high rate of civilian casualties during the actual use of cluster munitions. See, e.g., Eric Pro

41 Federatio[n] of American Scientists website, <[44] Federation of American Scientists website, http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/cbu-58.htm,

[45] Draft Agreement for the UNDP Trust Fund Nationwide Unexploded Ordnance Clearance Initiative Lao PDR, 19 April 1995, at 1; see also, Lao UXO Workplan 1999, p. 3.

[46] Memorandum from Major Kevin M. McDonnell to Col. Boykin, Trip Report (Laos Demining Assessment) 07 August 1995 - 02 September 1995, Sept. 11, 1995 (emphasis in original).

[47] Vientiane Times, UXO explosion kills seven Xieng Khoung children, January 17-19, 1998.


 

2000, Mennonite Central Committee

 
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