Date:    Sun, 9 Sep 2001 13:39:28 +0100 (BST)
     From:    davey garland <>

The VISIE Foundation

This article has not long been translated, and some of the data was presented in
March at a du conference

Reporter, Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, B-H  March 27, 2001

Balkan Syndrome


To the question regarding his views about the most
recent UN expert reports Dr. Zdrale answers that those experts did not
deign to come to the Kasindol hospital, examine the patients and check
the data collected by the local medical staff

by Zoran Zuza

A few weeks ago NATO greeted with relief the reports of the United
Nations experts and several independent laboratories in Switzerland
regarding the use of depleted uranium ammunition during the military
interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Regardless of contradictory and partly even political qualifications contained in
these reports, NATO welcomed the analyses according to which the risk
posed by the use of such ammunition for the Alliance soldiers and the
local population is "insignificant" and put the whole affair, as expected,
in the "closed case" file with the decision to continue to use that
type of ammunition in future military actions. In the general
trouble caused by the Albanians in the south of Serbia and now in
western Macedonia the news about the victims of the Balkans syndrome
have disappeared from the news, while absolutely no one remembered to
ask the United Nations expert to explain the meaning of formulations
such as "from the scientific point of view uncertainty remains"
regarding the long-term effects of the depleted uranium ammunition.
Perhaps the said experts will use exactly this sentence as cover in
some future court cases against those who ordered the use of depleted
uranium ammunition in Bosnia and Kosovo, as the most recent data about
the number of registered cases of cancer and death rate among
Sarajevo Serbs given to Reporter in Kasin Dol hospital, indicate that
without doubt a crime against civilian population and soldiers of the Army
of Srpska was committed in this region. What is crime: Director of
the clinical-hospital center in Serb Sarajevo Dr. Slavko Zdrale presented
data that leave one dumbfounded. In that hospital, in the last three
years, all together 639 patients with malignant tumors have been
registered. Out of them, 211 died in the same period!

"We in the hospital tried to find an answer to the question what
could cause such an increase in malignant tumors in the
population in the last five years, but we failed to prove any causal
link with any of the considered possible causes. The only possible
cause of these cancers is the depleted uranium ammunition, since
almost all the diseased were either present or lived in the territory
exposed to NATO bombing. It is important to mention that the number of
cancerous diseases has significantly increased in the last three
years and that it hasn't dropped in the January and February of this
year," says Dr. Zdrale, a surgeon with 25 years of experience.

He emphasizes that a large group of specialists from Kasin Dol
hospital has prepared two scientific studies about the effects of
uranium and plutonium on human health and about malignant
diseases in the Sarajevo-Romanija region.

Besides horrific statistics, the studies describe "medical rarities",
unprecedented in the medical practice. Several patients had double,
even triple malignant tumors in different types of tissue, tumors
that were independent of each other. "I have never seen
such cases in my entire life and all these years of medical work,"
emphasizes Dr. Zdrale and again stresses that all those patients come
from the territory bombed by the depleted uranium ammunition.

Chimneys in the ground: Zeljko Samardzic (1967) had cancer of the
large intestine removed in December 1999. In February 2000 he started
loosing balance and had to resort to a wheel chair.

In April 2000 a malignant tumor size of an apple was removed from his
adrenal gland.
In may 2000, fingers of his left hand started to deform. Skin was
pealing off, nails fell off, and doctors diagnosed gangrene and
amputated the small finger on his left hand.

The Samardzic family has been living near Sarajevo for more than a hundred
years. They mostly died from natural causes and no one in the
family has ever had a malignant tumor. Zaljko's father and mother are
in their 70's. He has a wife and three children. He says that before
the war he did not have any serious sickness and explains that by the
fact that as a forester he spent a lot of time in the wilderness and
walked 20 to 30 kilometers daily. He continued with the same work
during the war but, depending on the situation, he had to spend some
time in the trenches, where he was during the NATO bombardment.

"There were about fifteen of us, some 50 to 100 meters from the spot
where the bombs hit. At that time we had no idea what sort of weapon
that was, and some of us even picked up pieces of shrapnel as
souvenirs," says Samardzic and adds that two other soldiers from that
unit have already died from cancer - Desimir Divljan and Dorde Jokic.
Jovan Jeftic (1930), whose house was near the bombed spot, also
recently died form cancer.

Now, after everything he's been through, Samardzic feels well. He
realizes that he is a victim of the "Balkans Syndrome", and when he
read the story about Sladjana Sarenac, the girl form Hadzici who
played with the soil on the edges of a crater made by a depleted
uranium bomb, whose nails also fell off, he recalled that he and his
comrades dug soil in craters with their bare hands.

Provocation from Brussels: As a striking example of
the effect of the "Balkans Syndrome", in early March Samardzic traveled
to Brussels together with two doctors from Srpska. They were
invited to a gathering dedicated to the victims of the depleted uranium
ammunition by a Belgian non-governmental organization led by a
pacifist and publicist Michel Colon. Dr. Dragutin Ilic and Dr.
Trifko Guzina, as well as Snezana Pavlovic from the [Nuclear Physics]
Institute in Vinca [near Belgrade] were also in Brussels.

"There were invited experts and victims of the 'Balkans syndrome' at
the gathering, but there were no NATO representatives. As far as I
understood, Colon and his organization are not exactly favorites of
the Alliance officials. Besides me there were sick soldiers from
different countries, an Englishman who was in the Gulf War, a
Frenchman and two Belgians who served in Bosnia-Hercegovina and a
journalist from Spain whose fiance died from cancer.
During the gathering they said that NATO is making sure that they
have all sorts of assistance and that their families are taken care
of, but on the condition that they keep quiet. According to what they
said, if any member of the family publicly complains or files a
suit for damages, they immediately lose all their benefits. That is how
NATO is trying to suppress the information about the 'Balkans
syndrome'," says Samardzic.

He adds that already on the first day of the gathering
a German journalist, whose name he does not recall, tried to
provoke him by asking him whether the Serb Army used depleted uranium
in Srebrenica during, as she said, genocide of Muslims. "A similar
commentary came at the end of an article of an Independent, London,
journalist who interviewed me and who wrote that it should be kept in
mind that I was a member of an aggressor army that carried out
genocide in Srebrenica.
All of that upset me immensely and I decided to stop giving statements
for newspapers. I have never seen Srebrenica, except on a map, in my
whole life. My comrades from the unit and I defended our houses and

"NATO keeps denying the existence of the 'Balkans syndrome'. It
should be proven what they did here, and thereby the use of
such ammunition elsewhere in the world should be prevented."

Dr. Trifko Guzina, a pre-war director of the kidney disease clinic in
Sarajevo and a surgeon who operated on 25,000 patients before the
war, also claims that Samardzija is a victim of the depleted uranium
ammunition. "Such cases are simply unknown in medical literature;
that patient is overwhelmed by illness in such a manner, in good health
and without a hereditary factor..."

He warns that one of the conclusions of the gathering was that
decontamination of the soil and water should be urgently carried out
in this region because, as Dr. Guzina stresses, everyone is in
danger, including the inhabitants of the Sarajevo canton.

The Association for the Prevention of Use of Depleted Uranium in War
has also been founded and immediately demanded that investigation of
the effects of that matter on human body be unified.

To the question regarding his views about the most recent UN expert
reports Dr. Zdrale answers that those experts did not deign to come
to Kasin Dol hospital, examine the patients and check the
data collected by the local medical staff.

Dr. Nemanja Veljkov, specialist for diseases of blood
and liver, facing in the Kasin Dol hospital numerous cases of
acute leukemia, especially among children, at a press conference a
month ago said that the truth about the "Balkans syndrome" is hidden
exactly in that hospital and in the territory of Serb Sarajevo. All
those who for whatever reason are now trying to suppress that truth
should be reminded that crimes do not disappear, and when
justice catches up with the culprits, someone will also remember their

Data about number of malignant cancers in Kasindol Hospital
1995 - 43 patients - 22 died
1996 - 93 patients - 36 died
1997 - 95 patients - 37 died
1998 - 175 patients - 94 died
1999 - 216 patients - 44 died
2000 - 240 patients - 73 died

Between 1996 and 2000 there were 18 deaths caused by acute leukemia
in Kasindol hospital. The illness was not picky so that
the dead include a four-year-old boy, a girl aged 15, a boy aged 16 and
a young male aged 23. Since 1998 another 40 patients with illnesses
of blood and lymph nodes have been treated in the hospital. 19 of
them suffer from leukemia, two from its acute form. The latter two are
children from Pale, aged eight and eleven.

Translated on August 1, 2001

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