Campaign Against Depleted Uranium

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Questions in Parliament

Many CADU campaigners have been writing letters to their MPs and the MoD demanding action over DU. This has resulted in many questions being asked in both British Houses of Parliament. After the use of DU in the Balkans it took NATO four years to reveal that it used DU there and some sites where the munitions were used have still not been disclosed. The British Government seems to have taken some of these criticisms on board and has revealed that "A total weight of around 1.92 tonnes of depleted uranium ammunition has been fired in Iraq by United Kingdom forces since the start of recent hostilities." They have also said that the location of where the weapons were used will be available to UNEP.

On the 20th May Lord Bach was asked in the House of Lords, "considering the growing concern about the toxicity of depleted uranium, the fact that the long-term effects of that toxicity on civilian populations have so far not been properly examined and the fact that we have a duty to stop any civilian deaths as a result of any action that we have undertaken, can the Minister say how much money has been put aside for decontamination of any depleted uranium used by British forces in Iraq?" Lord Bach replied, "My Lords, I am not in a position to give the noble Lord a sum. But we take our responsibilities seriously. Our responsibilities are really to civil power at present. We will have to behave reasonably, and we are determined to do so, to ensure that any possible consequences are lessened." Inadequate though this is, this subtle admission by the British Government that it does have a responsibility to clean-up DU should be seized upon by campaigners to pressurise the Government to act on decontamination in Iraq.

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Page last updated: 6th December 2002