The armed conflict that took place in Laos from 1959 to 1975 during the Cold War left the country with large amounts of surplus ammunition and explosive ordnance. Because of this ordnance, parts of the territory remain dangerous zones that require clearance work. Ammunition management systems also need to contribute to demilitarisation and to prevent diversion.1
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and Nonviolence International are present in the country to help with the through-life management of ammunition by working with the Laotian government. Efforts have mainly focused on Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) seminars and training sessions with Laotian military and police forces on the safe and secure management of ammunition and identifying gaps in national ammunition diversion strategies.2
1“Support for Laos - Through Cluster Munitions Clearance and Risk Education.” World Without Mines. Accessed June 5, 2022. https://www.wom.ch/en/projects/laos.
2GICHD-AMAT, A-MAP Database (2022).
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Since the beginning of data collection in 1979 by the Small Arms Survey, only one accidental explosion was reported in Laos.
Table. 1 Accidental explosions in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (1979-2021)
Source: Small Arms Survey. n.d. Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS). Database.
Cases of diversion
Insufficient information on cases of diversion in the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
Activities in Laos are limited to demining. Insufficient information on the destruction of ammunition in the country.
Source: "Déminage Au Laos : Les Équipes Ne Lâchent Rien.” Handicap International. Accessed June 5, 2022. https://handicap-international.fr/fr/actualites/deminage-au-laos-les-equipes-ne-lachent-rien.
No needs have been reported for the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
Source: PoA Report 2020, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Please note that PoA reports focus on SALW and not specifically on ammunition. https://unoda-poa.s3.amazonaws.com/reports/LAO-English-1113-SUBMITTED.pdf