Laos - Current conflicts
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Current conflicts

Groups from the minority Hmong people have fought Laotian communist forces, initially alongside the United States in what was called "the Secret War", since the 1960s. They continued their armed resistance after the communists came to power in 1975. The Laotian military intervened on numerous occasions, which drove the Hmong either out of the country into neighbouring Thailand or in Laos's highest mountains to continue their fight as guerrillas. Small groups of Hmong have continued to face violent reprisals from the Laotian Government and remain internally displaced.

International NGOs such as Amnesty International have drawn attention to the plight of the Hmong and have called on the Government of Laos to stop "using the excuse of a long-concluded war to continue attacking the country's Hmong minority". Laotian authorities have so far failed to work out an overall peaceful resolution to end the conflict and massacres, including against civilians, have continued.

Further reading: "Lao People's Democratic Republic: Hiding in the Jungle - Hmong under Threat", Amnesty International, 23 March 2007, "Laos: Massacre of unarmed Hmong women and children", Amnesty International, 4 May 2006 and "Laos: Military atrocities against Hmong children are war crimes", Amnesty International, 13 September 2004

Last updated: 17 October 2010

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