Norway was praised for its contribution to clear landmines in Thailand in an editorial carried in Bangkok Post on October 26, 2002. Estimates vary as to the number of Thai civilians who are severely maimed and crippled each year by land mines, but the most conservative figure is 3,500 people. The editorial welcomed a proposal to establish a special mine clearing unit for Thailand. With the current support offered by Norway and the Joint US Military Assistance Group (Jusmag), less than 1% of one square kilometre is being cleared in a year.
Thailand Mines Action Centre (TMAC) director Gitti Suksomsatarn says the quick-reaction demining forces would consist of 20-30 members trained by the Joint US Military Assistance Group (Jusmag) to use modern machines and technology in collecting and destroying mines.
There are mines waiting to be cleared in 531 Thai villages, putting 504,000 people at risk in 27 border provinces. Estimates vary as to the number severely maimed and crippled but the most conservative figure is 3,500 and the actual number is believed to be far higher. The 27 provinces affected cover 2,556 square kilometres, with the majority of mines buried in the border region with Cambodia. The second most dangerous area is along the border with Laos, and not even Chiang Mai province is free of them.