Tomorrow’s edition of Der Spiegel, Germany’s weekly publication, is to publish evidence that the USA used Depleted Uranium weapons in the campaign in Somalia in 1993. This campaign was a United Nations sponsored action to restore peace to a country torn between the factions of rival warlords. It will be remembered that in the middle of a huge media campaign, President George Bush (senior) sent in the US Marines for a beach invasion…only to see the dead remains of several US soldiers being dragged around the streets of Mogadishu in front of jeering crowds. Der Spiegel presents evidence from the United States General Army Headquarters, in a communication for the medical personnel: “Among the members of the US force, there may be cases of contamination, especially among those who were exposed in an exceptional way to depleted uranium”. The same document highlights the fact that normal exposure to DU is not dangerous. What seems to pose a greater risk is prolonged and unprotected contact with the heavy metal, as would appear obvious. Meanwhile, the German Defence Minister, Rudolf Scharping, has stated that there could have been incidents with DU munitions as far back as the 1980s. He states that it was the American authorities which presented him with this possibility. Furious about this, the German Minister could not hide his anger when he remembered that the USA had also used plutonium weapons in the Balkans without warning their allies. “A friendly nation must inform its partners, for God’s sake!” he said as he began a two-day visit to the German troops stationed in the Balkans.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON
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