Skip to comments.Scale of Serbian Cluster Bomb Problem Revealed for First Time
Posted on 03/11/2009 5:32:33 AM PDT by Ravnagora
Tuesday, March 10, 2009.
(Belgrade, 10. March 2009) Ten years after the NATO bombing of Serbia, unexploded cluster munitions still represent a deadly threat to tens of thousands of people living in 16 municipalities in Serbia. A survey implemented by Norwegian Peoples Aid for the first time details the scope of the impact of cluster bombs in the country. The results of the survey were presented at a press conference in Belgrade today.
Regional Director of NPA in southeast Europe Emil Jeremic explained that with the comprehensive survey Serbia now has a tool for solving the problems of cluster contamination in affected communities. Serbia should sign t he Convention on Cluster Munitions that would open the door for support to clearance and victims assistance and uphold their earlier committment to the Oslo process to ban this indiscriminate weapon.
Cluster bombs were used in 105 deployment zones during the NATO intervention in 1999. Four types of sub-munitions were used, the total number of sub-munitions dropped was around 37,000 and of these, an estimated 2,500 are left unexploded in the ground. Immediately after the bombing Serb military forces undertook surface clearance in a number of areas, but no data is available on this clearance. Since then humanitarian clearance has been undertaken in around 4 km2 with around 250 unexploded submunitions cleared.
The total suspected hazard area covers 30.7 km2 in 16 municipalities, an area around the size of New Belgrade. Accidents recorded to date have resulted in 191 victims, 31 fatal and 160 suffering injuries. More than 88,000 people live close to hazard areas in 28 local communities.
Serbia was not only participating but was a leader in the process to ban cluster bombs, especially on issues related to securing better lives and livelihoods for survivors, their families and all those affected, said Dejan Dikic a civilian victim of cluster munitions who lives in Nis and has been a prominent advocate for the global ban. Too many people have been killed or injured already by cluster munitions. We do not want to see any more victims from these weapons and the only way to prevent this is by signing the treaty and clearing the land.
Characteristics of the contaminated areas made inaccessible for productive use indicate significant and va ried socio-economic impacts of cluster contamination in Serbia: 33% of the contaminated area is agricultural land, around 20% is hampering the reconstruction of settlement infrastructure and utilities, 14% of contaminated land is preventing reconstruction of housing units, whereas in 9% of the areas development of tourism is hindered by cluster contamination, and 8% blocks exploitation and maintenance of forests.
We see the same pattern of harm from cluster bombs in Serbia as we have seen in conflict after conflict around the world. They are indiscriminate when they are dropped and keep on killing for years afterwards. This is why most of the world has banned them and why the weapons will soon become a thing of the past. Serbia needs to choose whether it wants to live in the past or look to the future, said Thomas Nash, Coordinator of the Cluster Munition Coalition.
The predicted area for clearance of cluster munitions in Serbia is 15 km2. Clearance of contaminated areas is the only solution to the problem and will remove the risk posed by cluster munitions to the population in currently affected communities, and return inaccessible land to productive use. The majority of contaminated areas are found in southern and central parts of Serbia, in municipalities that are among the poorest in the country.
The survey project has been funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was implemented as a regional project involving the NPA humanitarian mine action programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, NPA regional office for southeast Europe in Belgrade, and the Serbian Mine Action Centre.
Notes to editors:
Types of submunitions used are: US manufactured BLU 97; UK manufactured MK 1 and MK 4 (also known as BL755) and US manufactured MK 118.
Emil Jeremic, Regional Director NPA southeast Europe, mobile +381 63 37 47 75
Per Nergaard, Head, Mine Action Department, NPA Head Office, mobile: +47 90 98 03 11
Thomas Nash, Co-ordinator Cluster Munition Coalition, mobile +44 77 11 92 67 30
I think that this one simple truth applies to all of us.
What still amazes me, no matter how many times it shows itself, is the extent to which people have lost their fear of God.
The bombing of Serbia in 1999 coincided, I believe, with the 50th anniversary of NATO.
What a lovely way to celebrate and to "prove" one's viability as an organization.
2) If you intend any disrespect to the men and women of the United States Air Force, you're perfectly welcome to fuck yourself.
If you intend any disrespect to the men and women of the United States Air Force, you're perfectly welcome to fuck yourself.
I do not intend, nor will ever intend, any disrespect to the men and women of the United States Air Force. As a matter of fact, I've written extensively about the USAF, and ALWAYS with respect. There is nothing in my posting that reflects disrespect on any level.
Most ironically, it has been members of the United States Air Force who have publicly spoken out in defense of the Serbs and just how good an ally they have been to America through the years.
Thank you for your sentiments. I will take the high road.
How brave to bomb from the sky!
Now ... I can't read your mind, only your words as printed on a computer screen. In context, that appears (to me) to be a snide, sarcastic, backhanded slap implying that USAF are cowards. It is the sort of thing I expect to see (having seen it many times) from stinking, unwashed, communist hippies who haven't a clue as to the meaning or nature of courage and honour.
Please clarify exactly what you meant by that comment.
Now that I know what you are referring to, I completely understand why you made the comment that you did. On the surface, you are right - my comment "How brave to bomb from the sky!" WAS sarcastic and intended as such. I'm glad that you're giving me an opportunity to clarify, because I can certainly see how that can be taken as an insult to the USAF.
I assure you that my comment was not meant as an affront to the USAF and I apologize if it was interpreted that way. I was directing my comment to the politicians and policy makers who issued the directive to bomb from the sky, as opposed to sending ground troops in to fight face to face with the Serbs. My comment was directed at NATO, not the USAF.
Bombing a country and a people, including the civilians, from the sky is not a brave act as it was carried out in March 1999 against Serbia. I hope you understand what I'm saying. These "bombers" were attacking "easy targets" and they weren't faced with an opposing air force, such as when the U.S. or the Allies faced the German air force "face to face" in the sky in WWII. There's a difference, at least from this civilian's perspective. Please help me understand how it could be considered "courageous" (and I mean that sincerely, without sarcasm.)
For me, in the context of the bombing campaign against Serbia in 1999, it was the Serbs on the ground, both the military and the civilians, who were the courageous ones.
I hope you understand. And I agree with you 100 percent about those people who disparage the U.S. Military as being critics who have no clue about the meaning or nature of courage and honour. I feel that same way about those who disparage Law Enforcement Officers as well.
I think this is an important discussion. Thanks for the opportunity. It was extremely difficult for this American to reconcile what was happening in 1999, being a person who felt loyal to BOTH sides of that conflict. Talk about being "torn"...
Briefly, a bomber force faces two threats from the enemy: interceptors, and AAA/SAMS. There may not be the “face to face combat” of WWI (which was already disappearing in WWII), but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real combat with two sides doing their best to kill each other. A modern air defense network (even without interceptors) is lethal. If its operators are competent, anyway.
When He sent His Son He sent Him as a servant. The next time He comes He will come as Master. At that point the time for forgiveness will be over. All the works of men will be revealed. Then He will teach us what true justice, power and authority really is.
What kind of asinine reply is that?
"Also on the 5 th of May 1995 , in a meeting with the United Nations Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi, Milan Martić stated, in response to Yasushi Akashi's condemnation of the attacks, that " [ h ] ad I not ordered the rocket attacks [ . ] they would have continued to bomb our cities". Milan Martić then proceeded to threaten to resume the attacks if their conditions were not met. Milan Martić spoke of "massive rocket attacks on Zagreb which would leave 100,000 people dead.""
“How brave to bomb from the sky!”
I guess subterranean bombing would have been preferable.
Where is that archaeological evidence I asked you to produce or are going to continually chicken out?
Serbs deny Srebrenica with all those pictures and even video, yet you expect me to try to convince you with archeological evidence that your 'Jerusalem' was inhabited by Albanians long before you were chased out of Carpathian Mountains /Russia.
Where did the Albanians come from? Tell us, it's easier that way.
So, when are you going to produce it?