US, NATO urged to give reasonable explanation and compensation for victims of depleted uranium bombs ASAP: FM
Published: Jun 10, 2022 07:31 PM
Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

Zhao Lijian Photo: VCG

The US and NATO should deeply reflect on the war crimes they have committed, and give a reasonable explanation and compensation to the victims of depleted uranium bombs as soon as possible, China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday, the day which is also the 23rd anniversary of the end of NATO's 78-day bombing of the Yugoslavia. 

NATO should also learn its lessons and not create new turmoil and divisions around the world, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs added. 
The response came after being asked at the regular press conference a question relating to 3,000 victims of depleted uranium bombs entrusted an international team of lawyers to file a lawsuit against NATO for the bad impact of the 15-ton depleted uranium bombs dropped by NATO. However, NATO claimed that it had immunity.

Twenty-three years ago on March 24, the US-led NATO launched a 78-day continuous bombardment against the Yugoslavia without the approval of the UN Security Council. 

During the period, NATO dropped nearly 420,000 bombs totaling 22,000 tons, including 15 tons of depleted uranium bombs, which directly killed more than 2,500 people, including 79 children, and caused more than 1 million refugees. 

Sadly, the death and suffering that the war has brought to the local area continues to this day and continues from generation to generation, Zhao said. 

Relevant experts pointed out that depleted uranium bombs have a long incubation period for damage to the human body, and also cause long-term effects on the environment and the food chain.

In the decade after the bombing, some 30,000 people in Serbia suffered from cancer, and more than 10,000 of them died. According to the Institute of Public Health of Belgrade, as of the end of 2019, the number of registered cancer patients in Serbia was as high as 97,000. 

A study by the Serbian emergency center shows that children born in the country after 1999 have multiple cortical tumors at the age of 1 to 5 years old, malignant hematological diseases at the age of 5 to 9 years old, and the brain tumor rates rise sharply between ages 9 and 18.

In addition, as of May 2019, 366 Italian soldiers who participated in NATO military operations had died of cancer, and 7,500 suffered from illness.

However, the US, which sent US military planes to drop depleted uranium on Serbia, was also the inventor and only user of depleted uranium bombs, but it has so far denied that depleted uranium bombs are the direct cause of the Gulf War Syndrome and the Kosovo War Syndrome, Zhao said. 

During the Gulf War, the US dropped more depleted uranium bombs in Iraq, and NATO also tried to escape its guilt with the so-called "immunity." This approach of the US and NATO is shocking, and the Serbian people will not agree to this, nor will the peoples of the world seeking justice, Zhao noted. 

Global Times