Interpol Fugitive “Maksim Bakiyev” arrested in UK

June 14 2010

A FUGITIVE on Interpol’s most wanted list has been arrested after a top secret swoop by the UK Border Agency.

Maksim Bakiyev — the son of a deposed president — vanished from his native country, Kyrgyzstan, more than two months ago but he was arrested at a tiny Home Counties airport yesterday.Bakiyev — whose father is former Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev — was arrested moments after flying into the UK to seek asylum, sources said today.

He was captured by UK Border Agency officials after touching down at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire in a privately hired jet.

Embezzlement

Bakiyev — who headed Kyrgyzstan’s Agency for Investment and Economic Development before his father’s regime was overthrown — was charged with embezzlement and abuse of power by his country’s new government.

The wherabouts of the 33-year-old have not been known since anti-Government protesters clashed with security forces in the north-western city of Talas on April 6.

He was on a flight to the United States for an official visit to Washington but did not turn up for his meetings.

The UK Border Agency would not confirm if the arrest had been made due to data protection, but other sources said Bakiyev had ordered a private car to take him from the airfield — which is mainly used by business jet companies.

Kyrgyzstan’s Prosecutor-General’s Office claim that last year Bakiyev illegally transferred at least $35million of a $300 million Russian loan to accounts at several banks under his control.


He and his business associates allegedly used the rest of the Russian loan to buy and sell shares on foreign stock exchanges.  Source

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Published in: on June 17, 2010 at 3:00 am  Comments Off on Interpol Fugitive “Maksim Bakiyev” arrested in UK  
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Kyrgyzstan: The nepotism that sparked a revolution

Sons were catapulted into key positions by Kyrgyz leader forced to flee office

By Shaun Walker

April 10 2010

Residents of Bishkek yesterday flocked to the city’s main square to remember the dozens of people who died in Wednesday’s violence. But grief was tinged with anger at ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who authorised troops to shoot on demonstrating civilians.

Mr Bakiyev fled to the south of the country as his government fell. Many in Bishkek hope that he, and his hated sons, will not return. The ousted president has denounced the revolution, which led to government offices being torched and looted, as a foreign-backed coup and told The Independent after fleeing that he still has the support of the majority of the country.

However, the mood on the streets yesterday suggests that he is out of touch with a people furious at his authoritarianism, corruption and nepotism. More than anything, it was the catapulting of his sons and brothers into senior state positions that angered ordinary Kyrgyz. It is telling that while interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has said Mr Bakiyev will be guaranteed safe passage out of the country if he capitulates, no such offer has been extended to his family members.

The country’s new prosecutor-general yesterday announced that a case was being prepared against Maxim Bakiyev, the president’s son and the most reviled man in the country.

Aged 32, he was, many suspect, being groomed to succeed his father. He headed a specially created agency to manage the hundreds of millions of dollars of Russian loan money, called the Central Agency for the Development of Investment and Innovation.

Critics noted that the Russian abbreviation for the agency sounded remarkably like “Tsar” – which is exactly what many in the country thought Mr Bakiyev behaved like.

“Even in the name of this agency, the ambitions of the Bakiyev sons for power were clear,” said Daniil Kislov, the editor-in-chief of the respected Fergana.ru website.

“They helped their father usurp power, and also seized various different businesses.

“They directly gave orders to put pressure on journalists, politicians, oppositionists and even members of parliament who opposed them. Many of these people had to leave Kyrgyzstan, and some of them were killed.”

Last December, Gennady Pavlyuk, a prominent Kyrgyz journalist who had often criticised the authorities, died after falling from an upper-storey apartment window on a trip to neighbouring Kazakhstan. Earlier last year, Medet Sardykulov, a former head of Mr Bakiyev’s administration, who had gone into opposition, was found dead in his car on the outskirts of Bishkek.

One of Mr Bakiyev’s key platforms when he came to power in the so-called Tulip Revolution in 2005 was that he would end the nepotism with which the ousted Askar Akayev had ruled. But politics came full circle, and in recent months his opponents have accused his regime of being even more corrupt and authoritarian. In addition to Maxim, Mr Bakiyev’s other son, Marat, and three of his brothers all held senior positions in the government.

After the uprising, Mr Bakiyev defended his family and insisted that he had put them in senior positions because of their experience.

“Maxim has an excellent knowledge of business, finance, and foreign languages, and was highly qualified to do the job he was doing,” he told The Independent. “Many of my relatives have had positions in the government for years, even before I came to power. They are highly qualified people.”

This is unlikely to placate his opponents. Prosecutors say they have testimony showing that it was he who ordered troops to fire on the protesters. Whether they will have the chance to prove this in court is unclear. Maxim Bakiyev is said to have departed for the United States shortly after the demonstrations started.

There were rumours spreading yesterday that in the southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad, Mr Bakiyev was readying supporters to stir further violence. Ms Otunbayeva insisted that the country would not spiral into civil war. “We have enough resources and capabilities and all the people’s support that we need,” she said.  Source

The Death toll apparently has reached 79. Approximately 1,400 have been injured.

April 09, 2010 — Kyrgyzstan is holding a day of national mourning for the victims of bloody protests which ousted the government.

The first funerals are being held for those who died in the unrest which forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital.

Mr Bakiyev has refused to resign but has offered to talk to the opposition, which has set up an interim government.

But interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has said she has no plans to negotiate with Mr Bakiyev and demanded he stand down.

Both the US and Russia have key military bases in Kyrgyzstan, and are watching the situation there closely.

The US says it has now resumed normal operations at its Manas base after military flights were suspended on Wednesday.

The deputy head of the interim government, Almazbek Atambayev, has gone to Moscow “for talks on economic aid”, the government said in a statement.

‘Never forgive’

Thousands of mourners gathered in the main square of the capital, Bishkek, on Friday to remember those killed in Wednesday’s violence

Kyrgyz pray as they gather to mourn revolt victims on central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Friday, April 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Kyrgyz people mourn revolt victims on central square in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Friday, April 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Sergey Grits)

Related

Kyrgyzstan: Thousands of protesters furious over corruption 40 deaths over 400 injured/Updated April 9 2010

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Kyrgyzstan: Thousands of protesters furious over corruption 40 deaths over 400 injured

By Peter Leonard

April 7 2010

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – Thousands of protesters furious over corruption and spiraling utility bills seized government buildings and clashed with police Wednesday in Kyrgyzstan, throwing control of the Central Asian nation into doubt. Police opened fire on demonstrators, killing dozens and wounding hundreds.

The eruption of violence shattered the relative stability of this mountainous former Soviet republic, which houses a U.S. military base that is a key supply centre in the fight against the Taliban in nearby Afghanistan. The unrest in Kyrgyzstan did not appear likely to spread across former Soviet Central Asia, however.

The chaos erupted after elite police at government headquarters in the capital, Bishkek, began shooting to drive back crowds of demonstrators called onto the streets by opposition parties for a day of protest.

The crowds took control of the state TV building and looted it, then marched toward the Interior Ministry, according to Associated Press reporters on the scene, before changing direction and attacking a national security building nearby. They were repelled by security forces.

The leader of the main opposition party said on the former state television channel that he had formed a new government and was negotiating with the president and demanding he step down. Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the claim.

Dozens of wounded demonstrators lined the corridors of one of Bishkek’s main hospitals, a block away from the main square, where doctors were unable to cope with the flood of patients. Weeping nurses slumped over dead bodies, doctors shouted at each other and the floors were covered in blood.

Kyrgyzstan’s Health Ministry said 40 people had died and more than 400 were wounded in clashes with police. Opposition activist Toktoim Umetalieva said at least 100 people had died after police opened fire with live ammunition.

Opposition activist Shamil Murat told the AP that Interior Minister Moldomusa Kongatiyev had been beaten to death by a mob in the western town of Talas where the unrest began a day ago. The respected Fergana.ru Web site reported later that Kongatiyev was badly beaten but had not dead, saying its own reporter had witnessed the beating.

The unrest began Tuesday in the western city of Talas, where demonstrators stormed a government office and held a governor hostage, prompting a government warning of “severe” repercussions for continuing unrest.

The opposition called nationwide protests for Wednesday, vowing to defy increasingly authoritarian President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Since coming to power in 2005 on a wave of street protests known as the Tulip Revolution, Bakiyev has ensured a measure of stability, but many observers say he has done so at the expense of democratic standards while enriching himself and his family.

Over the past two years, Kyrgyz authorities have clamped down on free media, and opposition activists say they have routinely been subjected to physical intimidation and targeted by politically motivated criminal investigations. Many of the opposition leaders once were allies of Bakiyev.

Anti-government forces have been in disarray until recently, but widespread anger over a 200 per cent hike in electricity and heating gas bills has galvanized the fractious opposition.

Police in Bishkek at first used rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons and concussion grenades Wednesday to try to control crowds of young men clad in black who were chasing police officers, beating them up and seizing their arms, trucks and armoured personnel carriers.

Some protesters then tried to use a personnel carrier to ram the gates of the government headquarters, known as the White House. Many of the protesters threw rocks, but about a half dozen young protesters shot Kalashnikovs into the air from the square in front of the building.

“We don’t want this rotten power!” protester Makhsat Talbadyev said, as he and others in Bishkek waved opposition party flags and chanted: “Bakiyev out!”

Some 200 elite police began firing, pushing the crowd back from the government headquarters. The president was not seen in public Wednesday and his whereabouts were unclear.

Protesters set fire to the prosecutor general’s office in the city centre, and a giant plume of black smoke billowed into the sky.

Groups of protesters then set out across Bishkek, attacking more government buildings.

At least 10 opposition leaders were arrested overnight and were being held at the security headquarters in Bishkek, opposition lawmaker Irina Karamushkina said.

One of them, Temir Sariyev, was freed Wednesday by protesters.

The U.S. State Department called for peace and restraint on both sides.

The prime minister, meanwhile, accused the opposition of provoking the violence in the country of 5 million people.

“What kind of opposition is this? They are just bandits,” Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov said.

Unrest also broke out for a second day in the western town of Talas and spread to the southern city of Naryn.

Some 5,000 protesters seized Naryn’s regional administration building and installed a new governor, opposition activist Adilet Eshenov said. At least four people were wounded in clashes, including the regional police chief, he said.

Another 10,000 protesters stormed police headquarters Wednesday in Talas, where on Tuesday protesters had held the regional governor hostage in his office.

The protesters beat up the interior minister, Kongatiyev, and forced him to call his subordinates in Bishkek and call off the crackdown on protesters, a correspondent for the local affiliate of U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said.

Witnesses said the crowd in Talas looted police headquarters Wednesday, removing computers and furniture. Dozens of police officers left the building and mingled with protesters.

In the eastern region of Issyk-Kul, protesters seized the regional administration building and declared they installed their governor, the Ata-Meken opposition party said on its Web site.

Hundreds of protesters overran the government building Tuesday on Talas’ main square. They were initially dispersed by baton-wielding police, but then fought through tear gas and flash grenades to regroup, burning police cars and hurling stones and Molotov cocktails.

Usenov said Tuesday’s violence in Talas had left 85 officers injured and 15 unaccounted for.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who met with Bakiyev in Kyrgyzstan on Sunday, arrived in Moscow on Wednesday at the end of a trip to several Central Asian nations.

“The secretary-general is shocked by the reported deaths and injuries that have occurred today in Kyrgyzstan,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said. “He once again calls on all concerned to show restraint. He urgently appeals for dialogue and calm to avoid further bloodshed.”

The leaders of the four other former Soviet republics in the region were certain to be watching events in Bishkek with concern, but the authoritarian, and in some cases dictatorial, natures of their governments would likely allow them to squash any attempts to challenge their rules.

In Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, people have been too terrified to challenge Stalinist-style governments. In Tajikistan, the legacy of a 1990s civil war has made people wary of conflict. Immediate unrest also appeared unlikely in energy-rich Kazakhstan, where politically apathy is combined with a weak opposition.

After the March 2005 protests that brought Bakiyev to power, some hoped that the democracy he then promised to bring to Kyrgyzstan would spread to the other former Soviet republics in the region. But those countries responded by clamping down further, equating democracy with regime change.

Just two months later, in May 2005, the Uzbek government brutally suppressed an uprising in the city of Andijan.

Writer Leila Saralayeva contributed to this report.

Source

This is what happens when you piss people off. You cannot steal from people and oppress them and expect them to sit ideally by and do nothing. Sooner or latter they will turn on you.

A state of emergency has been declared in Kyrgyzstan as thousands of protesters calling for President Bakiev to resign, clash with police across the country. Unconfirmed reports suggest at least 17 people have been killed and hundreds injured. Witnesses say Kyrgyz interior minister has died from injuries in Kyrgyz city of Talas.

A state of emergency has been declared in Kyrgyzstan as thousands of protesters calling for President Bakiev to resign, clash with police across the country. Unconfirmed reports suggest at least 17 people have been killed and over 140 are injured.

Kyrgyzstan’s President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has reportedly left the country after thousands of protesters, calling for him to step down, clashed with police. The opposition claims one hundred people have been killed, but the country’s Health Ministry, says the number of dead is 40.

Where there is US involvement there are always problems.  Leaders the US stand behind are unusably corrupt and oppress the people.  History tells us that. Most countries do not want US Military bases on their soil.

When there are problems in a country, more times then not, the cookie crumbs lead back to the US. The US just wants Kyrgyzstan so they can use it to wage war. Which is just what they have been doing. That is what all their Military bases are for to wage war on other countries. The US could care less about the people living in Kyrgyzstan however. With their Military bases comes war, pollution and crime.

Related

Kyrgyz elders want US base shut, troops gone
March 14 2010

The Council of Elders in Kyrgyzstan has demanded that the country’s authorities shut down a US base at Manas International Airport outside the capital, Bishkek. Besides the closure demand, the council is also calling for an immediate withdrawal of the US Troops from their country. “Until the entire contingent leaves [Kyrgyzstan], all flights of combat airplanes must be banned, but civilian airplanes can be authorized to deliver humanitarian and other peaceful supplies,” they said.

The military presence of the U.S. and other NATO member states in the territory of Kyrgyzstan poses a threat to our national interests,” the council said in a statement read at a news conference on Wednesday.  Source

Kyrgyz rally against US air base

Bishkek (AFP) Oct 22, 2008

Some 100 activists from two Kyrgyz political groups rallied Tuesday in capital Bishkek, calling for withdrawal of the US air base from Kyrgyzstan.Protesters from the nationalist Zhoomart group and the Sergiy Radonezhsky Fund cheered as Zhoomart’s leader Nurlan Motuyev publicly burned a US flag and an effigy of US President George W. Bush.

“Americans are the first to begin wars everywhere, they kill peaceful Muslims, spill fuel on our soil and make farmers suffer from poor crops. Away with the air base!” Motuyev called.

“There is a threat that if a US base stays in Kyrgyzstan, Muslim countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and China would take vengeance on us,” the Fund’s leader Igor Trofimov warned.

Police, though present, did not interfere.

Local protests against US military presence are often staged both in Bishkek and next to the air base.

The air base, which shares premises with the country’s main airport at Manas, outside the capital, is crucial to Washington’s operations in Afghanistan.

About 1,000 US troops are stationed at Manas. Source

PROTESTS AGAINST U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE HELD IN BISHKEK

October 22, 2008

The U.S. image in Kyrgyzstan was considerably tarnished following the shooting of a Kyrgyz truck driver Aleksander Ivanov in December 2006 by U.S. serviceman Zackary Hatfield. Since then a group of activists, including Ivanov’s widow Marina Ivanova, several journalists, and NGO leaders have been active campaigning for the withdrawal of the U.S. base. Source

Kyrgyzstan unveils US military training base plan

March 7 2010

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) – Officials in the impoverished Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan say the United States plans to build a $5 million military base for training local troops to assist in the fight against international terrorism.

Kyrgyzstan already hosts a U.S. military base in Manas, outside the capital Bishkek, used by Washington as a regional hub for the U.S.-led war in nearby Afghanistan.

A Kyrgyz Defense Ministry statement released Wednesday says the training base – complete with barracks, dining hall, classrooms and an assault course – will be constructed near the southern town of Batken.

No timeframe was mentioned.

The Kyrgyz government last year backed off a threat to evict U.S. forces from Manas after Washington offered to increase the rent it pays threefold. Source

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Raising the price of heat and hydro over 200 percent is just stupid. I wonder if the President had share in the companies?

Privatization leads to higher prices.

Then there are those who wish to exploit the countries resources.

Kyrgyzstan – prospective one day, poison the next

By Robin Bromby
April 08, 2010
SHAREHOLDERS in a clutch of junior explorers will today be watching events in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan with great interest – or, possibly, with trepidation. There has been severe political unrest in the capital, Bishkek, overnight with conflicting reports as to whether the government is still controlling the country. Certainly many people have been killed, possibly 100 or more.

Australian explorers have been keen on this country for some time – it is known to contain uranium (it being the first source of yellowcake when the Soviet Union went nuclear after World War II) and has great promise with gold, base metals, geothermal and hydrocarbon. And, it must be added, the uprising may be shortlived, a new government may well ensure that resources companies are unaffected and most of the projects are located well away from the capital and strife.

But this surge of political risk couldn’t have come at a worse time for Kentor Gold which is on the brink of giving the green light to its Andash copper gold development.

Others affected include Caspian Oil & Gas which has a large acreage position around the Fergana Basin, an area which has been supporting oil production the early 1900s. In late February CIG announced that its joint venture partner in Kyrgyzstan,Santos, had decided to withdraw after spending $US16 million on the project. Caspian is now looking for a new JV partner.

And it was just last week that Manas Resources announced some very encouraging gold drilling results from its Shambesai project in the central Asian republic.

But there are a couple of juniors that will be thinking they dodged a bullet.

Panax Geothermal has effectively wound back work in the country while it awaits news on its application for World Bank financing, Ram Resources last year handed over its Kyrgyzstan interests in lieu of debt to its former Canadian partner, while Namibian Copper last year kicked the tyres on two uranium projects before deciding that Africa was a better bet.

brombyr@theaustralian.com.au

The writer implies no investment recommendation and this report contains material that is speculative in nature. Investors should seek professional investment advice. The writer does not shares in any company mentioned.

April 8 2010 Updates

Why large-scale riots in Kyrgyzstan?

Also

PM and cabinet of Kyrgyzstan resign and flee the country

Kyrgyzstan’s Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov with his entire cabinet resigned last night and fled to neighbouring Kazakhstan. Anti-government protesters have seized the Parliament and clashed with security forces in which at least 40 people were killed and over 400 injured.

Interfax news agency reported from capital Bishkek that Usenov signed his cabinet’s resignation and handed over the powers to the leader opposition in Parliament Roza Otunbayeva.

Later in a statement Otunbayeva declared that the power in this of Central Asian republic has been assumed by the government of popular trust. Source

The death toll is between 68 and 100.  The number was about 40 deaths earlier.

Update April 9 2010

I am still the president, cries ousted Kyrgyz leader

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Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm  Comments Off on Kyrgyzstan: Thousands of protesters furious over corruption 40 deaths over 400 injured  
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141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban

Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

Sign Petition to Ban DU

What is DU?

  • Depleted Uranium is a waste product of the nuclear enrichment process.
  • After natural uranium has been ‘enriched’ to concentrate the isotope U235 for use in nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons, what remains is DU.
  • The process produces about 7 times more DU than enriched uranium.

Despite claims that DU is much less radioactive than natural uranium, it actually emits about 75% as much radioactivity. It is very dense and when it strikes armour it burns (it is ‘pyrophoric’). As a waste product, it is stockpiled by nuclear states, which then have an interest in finding uses for it.

DU is used as the ‘penetrator’ – a long dart at the core of the weapon – in armour piercing tank rounds and bullets. It is usually alloyed with another metal. When DU munitions strike a hard target the penetrator sheds around 20% of its mass, creating a fine dust of DU, burning at extremely high temperatures.

This dust can spread 400 metres from the site immediately after an impact. It can be resuspended by human activity, or by the wind, and has been reported to have travelled twenty-five miles on air currents. The heat of the DU impact and secondary fires means that much of the dust produced is ceramic, and can remain in the lungs for years if inhaled.

Who uses it?
At least 18 countries are known to have DU in their arsenals:

  • UK
  • US
  • France
  • Russia
  • China
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Taiwan
  • Israel
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Kuwait
  • Saudi Arabia
  • India
  • Belarus
  • Pakistan
  • Oman

Most of these countries were sold DU by the US, although the UK, France and Pakistan developed it independently.

Only the US and the UK are known to have fired it in warfare. It was used in the 1991 Gulf War, in the 2003 Iraq War, and also in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s and during the NATO war with Serbia in 1999. While its use has been claimed in a number of other conflicts, this has not been confirmed.

Health Problems

  • DU is both chemically toxic and radioactive. In laboratory tests it damages human cells, causing DNA mutations and other carcinogenic effects.
  • Reports of increased rates of cancer and birth defects have consistently followed DU usage.
  • Representatives from both the Serbian and Iraqi governments have linked its use with health problems amongst civilians.
  • Many veterans remain convinced DU is responsible for health problems they have experienced since combat

Information from animal studies suggests DU may cause several different kinds of cancer. In rats, DU in the blood-stream builds up in the kidneys, bone, muscles, liver, spleen, and brain. In other studies it has been shown to cross both the blood-brain barrier and the placenta, with obvious implications for the health of the foetus. In general, the effects of DU will be more severe for women and children than for healthy men.

In 2008 a study by the Institute of Medicine in the US listed medical conditions that were a high priority to study for possible links with DU exposure: cancers of the lung, testes and kidney; lung disease; nervous system disorders; and reproductive and developmental problems.


Epidemiology

What is missing from the picture is large-scale epidemiological studies on the effects of DU – where negative health effects match individuals with exposure to DU. None of the studies done on the effects on soldiers have been large enough to make meaningful conclusions. No large scale studies have been done on civilian populations.

In the case of Iraq, where the largest volume of DU has been fired, the UK and US governments are largely responsible for the conditions which have made studies of the type required impossible. Despite this, these same governments use the scientific uncertainties to maintain that it is safe, and that concerns about it are misplaced.

However, in cases where human health is in jeopardy, a precautionary approach should prevail. Scientific scepticism should prevent a hazardous course of action from being taken until safety is assured. To allow it to continue until the danger has been proved beyond dispute is an abuse of the principle of scientific caution.

Environmental Impacts
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has studied some of the sites contaminated by DU in the Balkans, but it has only been able to produce a desk study on Iraq. Bullets and penetrators made of DU that do not hit armour become embedded in the ground and corrode away, releasing material into the environment.

It is not known what will happen to DU in the long term in such circumstances. The UNEP mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina found DU in drinking water, and could still detect it in the air after seven years – the longest period of time a study has been done after the end of a conflict.

Uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, so DU released into the environment will be a hazard for unimaginable timescales.

Decontaminating sites where DU has been used requires detailed scrutiny and monitoring, followed by the removal and reburial of large amounts of soil and other materials. Monitoring of groundwater for contamination is also advised by UNEP. CADU calls for the cost of cleaning up and decontaminating DU affected sites to be met by the countries responsible for the contamination.

The Campaign
CADU is a founder member of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) – now comprising over 102 member organisations in 27 countries.

CADU and ICBUW campaign for a precautionary approach: there is significant evidence that DU is dangerous, and faced with scientific uncertainty the responsible course of action is for it not to be used. To this end CADU and ICBUW are working towards an international treaty that bans the use of uranium in weapons akin to those banning cluster bombs and landmines.

Through the efforts of campaigners worldwide the use of DU has been condemned by four resolutions in the European Parliament, been the subject of an outright ban in Belgium, and brought onto the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly.

Source

Sign Petition to Ban DU

International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons

141 states support second uranium weapons resolution in UN General Assembly vote

The United Nations General Assembly has passed, by a huge majority, a resolution requesting its agencies to update their positions on the health and environmental effects of uranium weapons.
December 2 2008

The resolution, which had passed the First Committee stage on October 31st by 127 states to four, calls on three UN agencies – the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update their positions on uranium weapons. The overwhelming support for the text reflects increasing international concern over the long-term impact of uranium contamination in post-conflict environments and military ranges.

In the 17 years since uranium weapons were first used on a large scale in the 1991 Gulf War, a huge volume of peer-reviewed research has highlighted previously unknown pathways through which exposure to uranium’s heavy metal toxicity and radioactivity may damage human health.
Throughout the world, parliamentarians have responded by supporting calls for a moratorium and ban, urging governments and the military to take a precautionary approach. However the WHO and IAEA have been slow to react to this wealth of new evidence and it is hoped that this resolution will go some way to resolving this situation.

In a welcome move, the text requests that all three agencies work closely with countries affected by the use of uranium weapons in compiling their research. Until now, most research by UN member states has focused on exposure in veterans and not on the civilian populations living in contaminated areas. Furthermore, recent investigations into US veteran studies have found them to be wholly incapable of producing useful data.

The text also repeats the request for states to submit reports and opinions on uranium weapons to the UN Secretary General in the process that was started by last year’s resolution. Thus far, 19 states have submitted reports to the Secretary General; many of them call for action on uranium weapons and back a precautionary approach. It also places the issue on the agenda of the General Assembly’s 65th Session; this will begin in September 2010.

The First Committee vote saw significant voting changes in comparison to the previous year’s resolution, with key EU and NATO members such as the Netherlands, Finland, Norway and Iceland changing position to support calls for further action on the issue. These changes were echoed at the General Assembly vote. Once again Japan, which has been under considerable pressure from campaigners, supported the resolution.

Of the permanent five Security Council members, the US, UK and France voted against. They were joined by Israel. Russia abstained and China refused to vote.

The list of states abstaining from the vote, while shorter than in 2007, still contains Belgium, the only state to have implemented a domestic ban on uranium weapons, a fact that continues to anger Belgian campaigners. It is suspected that the Belgian government is wary of becoming isolated on the issue internationally. Two Nordic states, Denmark and Sweden continue to blow cold, elsewhere in Europe Poland, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain are also dragging their feet, in spite of a call for a moratorium and ban by 94% of MEPs earlier this year. Many of the abstainers are recent EU/NATO accession states or ex-Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan.

Australia and Canada, both of whom have extensive uranium mining interests and close ties to US foreign policy also abstained.

The resolution was submitted by Cuba and Indonesia on behalf of the League of Non-Aligned States.

Voting results in full

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine.

Absent: Central African Republic, Chad, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Monaco, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia.

Source

Honor Vets by Learning About Depleted Uranium

November 11, 2008

by Barbara Bellows

As Europe mourns in Verdun today for those lost in “The War to End All Wars”, World War I, we could look to another moment in European history to shed light on the most aggressively silenced story of the Bush administration.

In late 2000 and January 2001, reports were exploding across Europe about the rise in cancer amongst NATO soldiers who had served in the “peacekeeping missions” in Bosnia and Kosovo. The effects of the depleted uranium in the U.S. and U.K. weapons could not be ignored.

But history shows that the United Nations and the World Health Organization could be intimidated. The report from the WHO – that detailed how the DU vaporized upon impact into tiny particles that were breathed in, or consumed through the mouth or entered through open wounds, where the irradiating bits attacked cells all the way through the body, causing mutations along the way – was shelved under pressure from the U.S.

Even now, the major U.S. news organizations do not touch the subject, though the international press cannot ignore it. Even last month, a Middle Eastern Reuters reporter discussed the health damages because of the contaminated environment with Iraqi En Iraqi Environment Minister Nermeen Othman,

“When we talk about it, people may think we are overreacting. But in fact the environmental catastrophe that we inherited in Iraq is even worse than it sounds.”

And The Tehran Times further endangers their country by continuing to report on the problem, calling it a war crime.

And across the internet, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Roger Helbig seeks to intimidate anyone who dares to bring up the subject.

But we evolve, and the United Nations First Committee has overwhelmingly passed a resolution, on October 31st, calling for “relevant UN agencies, in this case the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to update and complete their research into the possible health and environmental impact of the use of uranium weapons by 2010.” The only countries that voted against it were the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and France.

Meanwhile, to help the reader get to the point, I’ve put together the following.  Although the facts, for the most part, do not contain links, there is a list of the references at the end.

Ten Essential Facts:

1. Depleted uranium, the nuclear waste of uranium enrichment, is not actually “depleted” of radiation; 99.3% of it is Uranium238, which still emits radioactive alpha particles at the rate 12,400/second, with an estimated half life of 4.5 billion years.

2. Depleted uranium is plentiful – there are 7 pounds remaining for every pound of enriched uranium – and requires expensive and often politically-contentious hazardous waste storage.

3. Depleted uranium is less of a problem for the nuclear industry when it is cheaply passed on to U.S. weapons manufacturers for warheads, penetrators, bunker-busters, missiles, armor and other ammunition used by the U.S. military in the Middle East and elsewhere, and sold to other countries and political factions.

4. Depleted uranium is “pyrophoric”, which makes it uniquely effective at piercing hard targets, because upon impact, it immediately burns, vaporizing the majority of its bulk and leaving a hard, thin, sharpened tip – and large amounts of radioactive particles suspended in the atmosphere.

5. Depleted uranium weaponry was first used in the U.S. bombing of Iraq in 1991, under President George H. W. Bush and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

6. Depleted uranium weaponry was later used by President Bill Clinton in the NATO “peace-keeping” bombing missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia. By January 2001, as the 2nd President Bush and Dick Cheney were moving in to the White House, there was a furor in Europe over the news of an alarming increase in leukemia and other cancers amongst the NATO troops who’d served in the Balkans.

7. The World Health Organization suppressed a November 2001 report on the health hazards of depleted uranium by Dr. Keith Baverstock, Head of the WHO’s Radiation Protection Division and his team, commissioned by the United Nations. Baverstock’s report, “Radiological Toxicity of Depleted Uranium”, detailed the significant danger of airborne vaporized depleted uranium particles, already considerably more prevalent in Iraq than the Balkans due to the difference in military tactics, because they are taken into the body by inhaling and ingesting, and then their size and solubility determines how quickly they move through the respiratory, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, attacking and poisoning from within as they travel, and where the damages occur. In addition, the report warns that the particles tend to settle in the soft tissue of the testes, and may cause mutations in sperm. In 2004 Dr. Baverstock, no longer at the WHO, released the report through Rob Edwards at Scotland’s Sunday Herald.

8. The George W. Bush/Dick Cheney administration twisted the meaning of the failure of the World Health Organization to produce evidence of depleted uranium’s health hazards, turning it into evidence that there was no link between exposure to depleted uranium and the increases in cancer in Europe and Iraq; instead, as presented in the January 20, 2003 report by the new Office of Global Communications, ironically titled Apparatus of Lies: Saddam’s Disinformation and Propaganda 1990 – 2003, the depleted uranium uproar was only an exploitation of fear and suffering. Two months later, Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Rice began to “Shock and Awe” Baghdad by again dropping tons of depleted uranium bombs on densely populated areas.

9. On March 27, 2003, significant increases in depleted uranium particles in the atmosphere were detected by the air sampler filter systems of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at 8 different sites near Aldermaston Berkshire, Great Britain, and continued at 4-5 times the previous norm until the end of April 2003, after the Coalition forces declared the war over. This information only came to light in a report on January 6, 2006 by Dr. Chris Busby, due to his diligent fight for access to the data through Britain’s Freedom of Information law.

10. We have a new, intelligent President, who is willing to listen.  It is up to us to bring this to his attention.  THIS IS HOW WE CAN HONOR VETERANS.

VALUABLE REFERENCES:

Department of Defense description of self-sharpening depleted uranium: click here

Dr. Keith Baverstock’s November 2001 report, suppressed by the World Health Organization:
Rob Edwards article on Baverstock:

Karen Parker, a Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Lawyer:  Scroll down on the page and you’ll find her documents on DU.

January 2003 White House Report – Apparatus of Lies:

January 2006 Chris Busby report: click here

Source

Depleated Uranium Information

Or Google it there is tons of information out there.

Be sure to encourage those who are still not supporting the ban,  that it  is something that needs to be banned.

This is an extremely dangerous form of Pollution.

We, the people, need to let governments and the United Nations know that these weapons can have no part in a humane and caring world. Every signature counts!

  1. An immediate end to the use of uranium weapons.
  2. Disclosure of all locations where uranium weapons have been used and immediate removal of the remnants and contaminated materials from the sites under strict control.
  3. Health surveys of the ‘depleted’ uranium victims and environmental investigations at the affected sites.
  4. Medical treatment and compensation for the ‘depleted’ uranium victims.
  5. An end to the development, production, stockpiling, testing, trade of uranium weapons.
  6. A Convention for a Total Ban on Uranium Weapons.

The life you save may be your own.

Sign Petition to Ban DU

Published in: on December 4, 2008 at 1:10 pm  Comments Off on 141 states support Depleted Uranium Ban  
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