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A close look into NATO's wrongdoings in former Yugoslavia

Updated: Apr 17

June 10 marks the 25th anniversary of the end of NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was launched 25 years ago by the US-led NATO without the approval of the UN Security Council and lasted 78 days.

In these days, NATO dropped a total of 22,000 tons of bombs, including 15 tons of depleted uranium, directly killing more than 2,500 people, including 79 children, and turning more than one million innocent residents into refugees.


What is more distressing is that the suffering caused by the war has haunted until this day, from generation to generation. Experts point out that depleted uranium munitions have a long latency period for damage to human body and long-term effects on the environment and the human food chain.


In the 10 years following the bombing, about 30,000 people in Serbia developed cancer, of which more than 10,000 died. According to the Institute of Public Health in Belgrade, as of the end of 2019, 97,000 people were registered as suffering from cancer in Serbia.


Studies by the Serbian Emergency Center show that children born in the country after 1999 had more ectodermal tumors between the ages of one and five, more malignant blood diseases between the ages of five and nine, and a sharp increase in the incidence of brain tumors between the ages of nine and 18.

Why NATO destroyed Yugoslavia - A look back at 25 years ago


In addition, as of May 2019, 366 Italian soldiers involved in NATO military operations had died of cancer and 7,500 were suffering from the disease.


Three thousand victims of depleted uranium bombs have commissioned international lawyers to file a lawsuit against NATO. However, NATO tried to exonerate itself under the guise of immunity, which is terribly shocking and infuriating.


"We have received a response to the NATO lawsuit," said Serbian lawyer Aleksic, who was leading the litigation team. “NATO claims to have immunity. It is absolutely not true. No country in the world, not only in Serbia, has the right to grant immunity to war criminals."


Aleksic told the media that NATO's liaison office in Serbia sent a statement to the Belgrade court whereby NATO argued that it had signed an agreement with Serbia and Montenegro on transit participation and support for peacekeeping operations in 2005, and another agreement with Serbia to set up a liaison office in 2006.


NATO tried to justify itself to have full jurisdictional immunity in Serbia with these two agreements. In other words, NATO believed that they have privileges in Serbia, so the depleted uranium bombs dropped by NATO were also "legal."


In response to the completely unjustified claims, Aleksic refuted that neither of the two agreements granted NATO jurisdictional immunity. And more importantly, even if there was immunity, it couldn’t be used retroactively.


The two agreements were signed in 2005 and 2006, while the US war crimes of bombing the Belgrade were committed in 1999, and there is no justification for the latter agreement to explain the previous issues.


Generally speaking, what NATO did was to cover up its evil deeds after trampling on the national sovereignty of another country, trying to conceal its war crimes by using the so-called immunity argument.


NATO's approach not only fails to prove its innocence, but also helps the whole world to fully reexamine its long list of war crimes.


Since its founding, its so-called military operations have never brought about peace and stability, but chaos and trauma.

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