Will Serbia hold NATO responsible for criminal use of depleted uranium?

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The Republic of Serbia appears to be making moves that would ultimately open the door to holding NATO responsible for the significant spike in cancer illnesses and deaths which followed NATO’s bombing of Serbia with depleted uranium shells.

President of the Serbian Parliament Maja Gojkovic drafted a resolution in parliament that would establish a commission charged with investigating the impact of the NATO bombing in 1999 on the health of citizens and the environment, with particular emphasis on the effects caused by the use of depleted uranium shells.

Previously, the Italian parliament, recognized that NATO’s use of these nuclear waste tainted weapons were the primary cause of illness and death for Italian NATO soldiers in the occupied southern Serbian region of Kosovo. Serbian officials are in an active conversation with the Italians, whose findings may better inform any Serbian investigation.

Gojkovic expects, as she said, that the study should be carried out by scientific experts, and  must be completed by the end of 2020.

The main task of this commission, as Gojkovic stated, is to determine the cause-effect link between the bombing and the large number of various serious illnesses that occur among citizens, including cancer. According to her, it is important to determine the cause-effect relationship between the brutal bombing which used illegal and globally banned depleted uranium shells, and the rise in malignant diseases in Serbia.

She also added: “There is no politics here. This is in the interest of every citizen of this country. There is no accusation here of anyone. Our goal is to reach the truth in the interests of the citizens of Serbia, and those who are sick, and their families, and all of us who live in this country. ”

According to her, the official Serbian visit to the Italian parliament is extremely important and a discussion with the commission’s president investigating the cause-and-effect relationship between the stay of Italian soldiers in missions in countries bombarded with depleted uranium, and fatalities and serious illnesses from which they are ill.

There is a special part of the report of the Italian commission, Gojkovic said, referring to the cause-effect relationship of the illnesses of Italian soldiers who had been in missions in the territory of Serbia or in KiM (Kosovo and Metohija).

Serbian Minister of ecology Goran Trivan stated “Serbia will be one large laboratory, and everything that is needed in terms of equipment will be procured from the budget of three ministries – ecology, defense and health”. He also added that the state will try to conduct the research in Kosovo and Metohija, as he says depleted uranium does not make a difference between nations – it hurts everyone.

Trivan stated that the fate of Italian soldiers who had cancer and died in Kosovo will be one of the key bottlenecks in discovering the truth about depleted uranium from NATO bombs. Number of Italian soldiers who served in Kosovo and Metohija got cancer, over 4.000 of them and almost 400 died.

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In Serbia statistics are defeating:

– 34,971 people got cancer in 2013.

– 21,091 died of cancer in the same year.

– 59%  the number of patients with leukemia and lymphoma increased in 2006.

– 118% more people died from leukemia and lymphoma in 2006.

– up to 33,000 people got cancer because of depleted uranium from 2001 to 2010.

– up to 18,000 citizens died of cancer due to depleted uranium from 2001 to 2010.

NATO denies any connection between nuclear waste and cancer, even though NATO member Italy has already recognized such. The NATO Committee stated in its response that “based on independent evidence we have come to the conclusion that the use of depleted uranium during the conflict in Kosovo was not the cause of permanent health risks.” “Depleted uranium is a very thick metal, which is why some countries use it to make armor or ammunition. NATO is very serious about health and environmental issues. That is why NATO formed a depleted uranium committee in 2001” it was stated from NATO.

As pointed out, the UN Environment Program in its 2001 report also concluded that depleted uranium sites are not significant in terms of human health risks. “These are scientific facts” it was stated from NATO. It would appear that Italy and NATO are working with different facts.

Also, according to information, the leaders of NATO, have been angered by the announcement that one state, for the first time ever since NATO was founded, could open an investigation into the consequences of their actions. They are even more concerned about the possibility that scientific evidence of this will be presented to the world.

According to the available data, in the bombing of Yugoslavia, now Serbia, in the course of 78 days, 15 tonnes of depleted uranium were dropped, of which the United States “recognized 11 tonnes.”

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