Forwarded Message Follows
Date sent: Thu, 08 Apr 1999 09:50:15 +0200
From: Radoje Lausevic <rlausevi@EUnet.yu>
Send reply to: rlausevi@EUnet.yu
To: dlakusic@EUnet.yu
Subject: Ecological catastrophe
Dear colleagues,

We are faced with ecological catastrophe:

  1. NATO was not only using banned cluster bombs, but also depleted uranium bullets. These bullets caused an immediate increase in leukemia, cancers, and birth defects in the Gulf War, as well as the so-called Gulf War sickness, whose symptoms are identical with radiation sickness.

    Depleted uranium (DU) is used primarily because it is effective against tanks. The uranium oxide from these bullets when inhaled donates «hot» particles of around 0.5 microns to the chest, equivalent to 20 chest X-rays per hour. Nearly all the Cruise missiles used so far contain DU warheads. The UK Sunday Times says 120 of these have been fired so far, but other reports say much more have been fired. DU is classed as a weapon of mass destruction and therefore illegal according to the Geneva Convention. They could have teratogenic effects for generations afterwards on combatants and targets alike. Certainly they will damage US or NATO troops as well as all others in Kosovo in any ground war, to judge from what happened after their use in the Gulf War and in Bosnia.

  2. Our stretch of the Danube is no longer navigable, and will not be navigable for a long time to come. namely, two bridges in Novi Sad (second Yugoslav city by population size, northern from Belgrade) were crushed down, the third and last one is heavily damaged. This holly river and European natural treasure has suffered the biggest ecological catastrophe of the all time, and countries along its banks will sustain great economic damage for a long time. Today it is the obstructed river, tomorrow it will be the spill and release of toxic chemicals caused by bombing of chemical plants and fuel depots.
  3. Several burned chemical factories in different parts of Yugoslavia, especially in Kosovo, released dark and toxic smoke, which is spreading all around. We do not have any possibilities to keep those polluted clouds within our borders.
  4. Several national parks are targeted by cruise missiles and bombs: Fruska Gora (northern Serbia), Kopaonik (central Serbia), Tara (western Serbia), Sara (southern Serbia)... Forests are burned and devastated, big and small game are killed, birds are dispersed. High Yugoslav biodiversity, one of the highest in Europe, is seriously endangered.

Serbian Ecological Society Univ. Belgrade, Fac. Biol.
Inst. Bot. & Bot. Garden «Jevremovac»
Takovska 43, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Tel: +381 11 767-988 Fax: +381 11 769-903
Dmitar Lakusic, President dlakusic@EUnet.yu
Radoje Lausevic, Secretary rlausevi@EUnet.yu

This message originates with Dr George Davis
Head: Programme Development
National Botanical Institute Private Bag X7 7735 CLAREMONT
Tel: 27 21 762 1166 Fax: 27 21 797 8390 Cell 083 457 0314
(Dr.) Eugene Cairncross
Department of Physical Science
Peninsula Technikon
Box 1906 Bellville 7535
Ph (27)(21)959 6490 Cape
Fax.(27)(21)959 6490/6118 South Africa
Ph (2721) 959 6490 Fax (2721) 959 6118

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