An Urgent Appeal from Cambodian PM to Presidents Biden and Zelenskyy

Drawing on the “painful experience” of his nation, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on U.S. President Biden and Ukrainian President Zelenskyy not to use cluster munitions in Ukraine.

“It would be the greatest danger for Ukrainians for many years or up to a hundred years if cluster bombs are used in Russian-occupied areas in the territory of Ukraine,” Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen tweeted on July 16.

During the Vietnam war, the United States dropped around 285 million cluster bomblets on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, slightly fewer than the 300 million or so the US is now planning to send to Ukraine. Of the 26 million that were dropped on Cambodia, up to 6 million still lie undetonated in the countryside. “It has been more than half a century. There have been no means to destroy them all yet,” Hun Sun added. Still today, approximately one person dies every day due to the unexploded ordnances in those countries.

“I appeal to the U.S. President as the supplier and the Ukrainian President as the recipient not to use cluster bombs in the war because the real victims will be Ukrainians,” the Cambodian Prime Minister wrote.

The Laotian government also called on states to refrain from the use, transfer or production of such munitions “so that no one in the world would be victimized” by such weapons.

NATO used cluster bombs again in 1999 in the Serbian war. One witness to the destruction, quoted in a report on the Global Research website, reported that “Thousands of bomblets failed to detonate on impact, posing a hazard to children who mistook their little yellow parachutes for toys. In the decade after the war, these remnants claimed another 178 casualties in Kosovo.”

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