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While the political situation in Thailand is generally stable and calm, its southernmost region is home to one of Asia’s longest-running armed conflicts;1 since 2004, the government has been involved in an armed conflict against the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Coordinate (BRN).2 Due to this protracted situation, as well as the ongoing armed conflict in neighbouring Myanmar, the country continues to face issues related to armed violence and high levels of weapons and ammunition trafficking.3 The large amount of unexploded ordnance and landmines left over as a result of past conflicts in the region also poses significant challenges. The biggest contaminated area is at the border with Cambodia.4

The UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) and Nonviolence International are working on the ground to support the through-life management of ammunition, in collaboration with the Thai Ministry of Defence. Efforts have included organising national and regional training sessions to develop plans to prevent arms diversion and reduce illegal arms flows, as well as offering training sessions to improve physical security and stockpile management practices in Thai forces.5

“Non-international armed conflict in Thailand," Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC), Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, updated August 22, 2022,

Don Pathan, “Thailand: Could One of Asia's Deadliest Conflicts Be Coming to an End?” United States Institute of Peace, September 17, 2021,

“Is Thailand Still in the Arms-Smuggling Trade?” Nation Thailand, June 6, 2017,

“Thailand: Mine Action and Disarmament,” Norwegian People's Aid, accessed June 21, 2022,

“Ammunition Management Activity Platform (A-MAP),” GICHD, 2022,

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Further information

Accidental explosions

Since the Small Arms Survey began collecting data in 1979, numerous accidental explosions have been reported in Thailand.

Table 1. Accidental explosions in Thailand (1979–2021)

Year Location Owner/manager Deaths Injuries

Muang Lop Buri

State (military)

0 0


State (military)

0 3

Chao Phraya Bodindecha

State (police)

0 3

Phayuha Khiri

State (military)

0 0


State (military)

0 0


State (military)

0 5

Tambon Nong Sarai

State (military)

1 14


N/A 0 0


State (military)

20 90

Pak Chong

State (military)

2 70


State (military)

10 N/A


State (military)

54 353

Source: “Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) Database,” Small Arms Survey, updated December 15, 2021,

Cases of diversion

Numerous cases of diversion have been reported since 2004 in Thailand.

Table 2. Cases of diversion of arms, ammunition and explosives in Thailand since 2004

Year Location Description


28 AK-102 rifles were stolen from an ammunition depot.


Nakhon Ratchasima

Two rifles, an M60 machine gun and 736 rounds of ammunition were stolen by a former soldier from an arsenal depot.

2017 Trat

29 AK-47 assault rifles, four 7.62mm machine guns, several grenades and more than 4,000 bullets were stolen by a Thai officer.

2011 Pran Buri

117 M16 rifles, 10 11mm handguns, 10 rocket propelled grenade launchers, five M79 grenade launchers, four M60 machine guns, one 60mm mortar, four Minimi light machine guns and many kinds of ammunition were stolen from an arsenal.

2004 N/A

More than 350 weapons were stolen from an unknown army base.

Source: Don Pathon, “Thailand: Could One of Asia's Deadliest Conflicts Be Coming to an End?”; “Thailand Police Announce Missing Firearms Were Stolen and Sold,” The Star, May 30, 2021,; “Weapons Smuggling on the Thai-Cambodian Border: Who Is Responsible?” ASEAN Today, June 20, 2017,; “Arms Cache Stolen from Thai Army Base,” UPI, March 4, 2011,; Rebecca Ratcliffe, “Thai PM Defends Security at Military Base after Soldier's Killing Spree,” Guardian, February 9, 2020,


Insufficient information on the disposal of ammunition in Thailand.


To further enhance safe and secure ammunition management, the following need has been identified for Thailand:

  • Development or refinement of standards and procedures on stockpile management

Source: Thailand, National Report on the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA) and the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) (New York: Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN, 2022),

Published Date: Tuesday 21 of November 2023