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Several groups investigating ecological disaster in Yugoslavia
Several groups investigating ecological disaster in Yugoslavia - August 16, 1999
In the news report appended below we learn that another research team with Russian, Austrian, Greek and Swiss experts from the Focus organization visited Yugoslavia last month to carry out chemical radiological analyses. The expert team concluded that the release of extremely toxic and carcinogenic substances poses an extreme ecological threat in the FRY (Yugoslavia).
The article also notes that this was the second such international team to visit Yugoslavia referencing the on-going work of the UNEP team.
The UNEP team, i.e. the UN Balkans Team, investigating environmental and health consequences of the bombing has been issuing regular reports. [See reference  below for six different news and press releases on the activities and findings of the UN Team]
In addition I have learned in an august 13th e-mail from a colleague - independent journalist Joan Mitrich, author of the "Advisory: Request DU Maps & Info for Balkans" [See reference  below], that an ...... "environmental activist from New Mexico, Demacio Lopez, is now in Yugoslavia looking into the DU issue with some German activists. They will then proceed to Geneva to testify in front of the subcommission on human rights against the use of DU..on around the 22-25th of August."
Also a North American humanitarian delegation is to return home via New York today from a two week mission to Yugoslavia. I was to have accompanied this group as a scientific advisor but in the end was unable to go. The members of the delegation participated in the opening tribunal and discussions of the independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate US/ NATO War Crimes headed by Ramsay Clark in New York on July 31st the day before their departure for Belgrade. The purpose of the mission included conducting an independent investigation into human rights violations by NATO for evidence in an international war crimes tribunal. Among other things the delegation was to collect data on sites and evidence of environmental damage and was hoping to test for radiation and take soil samples where evidence warranted .
Earlier on Dr. Radoje Lausevic and the Sebian Ecological Society  and the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe  produced comprehensive overviews of the ecological and environmental consequences of the NATO bombing and military activity.
Many other references are to be found in reference  cited below.
All the best,
1]1) ADVISORY: Request DU Maps & Info for Balkans By Joan McQueeney Mitric, Jmitric1@aol.com Independent medical reporter based in Washington, DC July 15, 1999, Washington, D.C. http://www.flora.org/flora.mai-not/12606
2] References to UN Balkans Team reports: Date: 12 Aug 1999 00:50:58 http://www.flora.org/flora.mai-not/13031
 OVERVIEW OF ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF NATO BOMBING OF YUGOSLAVIA SINCE MAY 20, 1999 By Dr. Radoje Lausevic Full report available as a zip file containing a wordperfect document: http://www.BalkanPeaceNetwork.freeserve.co.uk/Environment.htm
4]] Assessment of the Environmental Impact of Military Activity During the Yugoslavia Conflict, By: Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe Released June 28th, 1999 http://www.rec.org/REC/Announcements/yugo/contents.html
 ECOLOGICAL CATASTROPHE & HEALTH HAZARDS OF THE NATO BOMBINGS: AN ANNOTATED URL REFERENCED LIST OF INTERNET ARTICLES, NEWS, PRESS RELEASES. [ PART 6 ] http://www.flora.org/flora.mai-not/12608
Yugoslavia Faces Ecological Disaster, Group Warns 01:42 a.m. Aug 15, 1999 Eastern
http://www.dogpile.com - search newswires
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Yugoslavia faces ecological disaster from 11 weeks of NATO bombing unless urgent measures are taken in the worst affected areas, an international humanitarian group was quoted Saturday as saying.
The Beta news agency said a team of Russian, Austrian, Greek and Swiss experts from the Focus organization visited Yugoslavia last month and carried out chemical and radiological analysis in towns that had suffered most damage.
``The most dangerous ecological consequences arose from the bombing of the industrial complex in Pancevo, the oil refinery in Novi Sad, the fuel depots in Smederevo and Pristina and the transformer stations in Nis and Bor,'' the team said in its preliminary report.
``Based on the analysis results, the expert team concluded that the release of extremely toxic and carcinogenic substances poses an extreme ecological threat in the FRY (Yugoslavia),'' it said.
The report said that some eight tons of mercury had seeped out of a bomb-damaged electrolysis plant in Pancevo, near Belgrade, ``which poses a danger to human health and the environment in the central regions of the FRY and the Danube basin.''
``The release of petroleum, oil, diesel and artificial fertilizers into the soil and water reservoirs has resulted in the contamination of nearby facilities, towns, villages, water and mud in channels and rivers, including the Danube. This could result in changes in the ecological balance in the region and irreversible mutation in plants and animals,'' the report said.
The team called for international organizations to resume their activities in Yugoslavia as soon as possible in order to prevent ``a possible ecological collapse.''
They also recommended that urgent measures be taken to seal off the polluted areas and prevent the transfer of toxic substances to settlements and the flow of polluted sewage water into the Danube.
It was the second such international team to visit Yugoslavia since the end of the NATO air war. A United Nations team that arrived last month said there was no evidence the bombing had caused an ecological catastrophe but called for urgent action to deal with some of the damage.
The U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said Thursday it was investigating possible damage to human health caused by NATO's use of shells tipped with depleted uranium during the Kosovo conflict.
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