19 February 2014

Radioactive Fallout From France’s Atomic Tests Hit Southern Europe

By Anne Sewell

Liberty Voice

See Article and Video

Back in the 1960s, France was involved in atomic bomb tests in the Sahara desert in what was then French-administered Algeria and it turns out radioactive fallout from these tests hit a lot more of Africa, as well as southern Europe.
During 1960 and 1961, prior to Algerian independence, France detonated four atomic bombs in the Sahara.  After Algeria attained independence, France continued with a further 13 tests, but ceased testing in 1966.  Apparently they then moved on to testing in French Polynesia in around 1970.
The first of these atomic bomb tests was that of France’s very first atomic bomb which went by the name “Gerboise Bleue” or in English, Blue Jerboa, named after a rodent living in the desert.
“Gerboise Bleue” was apparently detonated on top of a 105 meter tower near Reganne in Algeria.  Reportedly it was a “pure fission device with a plutonium core and a one-point initiated implosion system.”  
It turns out that at the time, they never really told anyone the reach of the radioactive fallout from the blast and kept it under wraps until this week.  A French newspaper, Le Parisien, has published some declassified documents relating to the atomic testing, including a map showing how, in reality, the fallout spread much further than they said.  In effect, the fallout reached central, eastern and northern Africa and even went so far as to hit southern Spain and also Sicily and Sardinia in southern Italy.  The radioactive fallout from France’s atomic bomb tests hit southern Europe, apparently, within just 13 days of the test.  A link to the map is included at the end of this article.
Le Parisien reported that the French military recognizes that in some areas, the safety standards were widely exceeded.  For instance in Arak, near Tamanrasset, the water was highly contaminated as well as in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.
The French military are apparently describing the levels as “generally very weak” and they say there is no real threat outside the immediate blast area.
However, Bruno Barillot, a specialist in nuclear testing, told the newspaper that this is what the military will always say.  He stressed that at the time of the testing, standards were far less stringent than they are now, adding that medical advances have since shown that even very low doses of radiation can trigger serious diseases some 10, 20 or even 30 years later.
According to the declassified documents, dangerous levels of iodine-131 and caesium-137 were found in N’Djamena in Chad and Arak in Algeria, although it is apparently impossible to tell the exact levels.

Barillot said that everyone knows these days that these radioactive elements are a direct cause of cancers and cardio-vascular disease.  He stressed that even with the latest document release, the French government has been selectively declassifying documents to hide the real truth in the matter.
According to Fatima Benbraham, a lawyer representing around 30 people who have suffered cancer as a result of the radioactive fallout from atomic tests, nobody has received any compensation as yet, as they don’t actually have proof that these people were in the “very limited zone laid down by the law relating to damages,”   In fact, apparently in total there are around 150,000 people waiting for compensation due to the radioactive fallout.
This isn’t the first incidence showing the lack of knowledge involved when testing atomic weapons.  Three years before the French tests, in 1957, five U.S. air force officers along with a cameraman, were involved in an experiment where they stood directly underneath an atomic explosion at a Nevada test site and waited for the bang.  There was absolutely no forethought as to the radioactive fallout involved and one of the officers even wished that everyone could have been there.  As more documents become declassified, it will no doubt become clear that radioactive fallout from atomic bomb tests has probably hit far more areas of the world besides France’s contamination of southern Europe and various parts of Africa.

French Nuclear Tests in Algeria: Exact Radioactive Fallout Extent Revealed

U.N. reaffirms Palestinian right to self-determination and independent statehood


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly 

18 December 2013

[on the report of the Third Committee (A/68/455)]

           The General Assembly,

           Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in the Charter,

           Recalling, in this regard, its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations”,

           Bearing in mind the International Covenants on Human Rights,[1] the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[2] the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples[3] and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,[4]

           Recalling the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations,[5]

           Recalling also the United Nations Millennium Declaration,[6]

           Recalling further the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,[7] and noting in particular the reply of the Court, including on the right of peoples to self-determination, which is a right 

erga omnes,[8]

           Recalling the conclusion of the Court, in its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004, that the construction of the wall by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, along with measures previously taken, severely impedes the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,[9]

           Welcoming the resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, based on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative[10] and the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,[11] aiming for the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides within the agreed time frame of nine months,

           Stressing the need for respect for and preservation of the territorial unity, contiguity and integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and recalling in this regard its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004,

           Recalling its resolution 67/158 of 20 December 2012,

           Taking note of its resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012,

           Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

           1.       Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

           2.       Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.

70th plenary meeting

18 December 2013

[1] Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
[2] Resolution 217 A (III).
[3] Resolution 1514 (XV).
[4] A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
[5] Resolution 50/6.
[6] Resolution 55/2.
[7] See A/ES‑10/273 and Corr.1.
[8] Ibid., advisory opinion, para. 88.
[9] Ibid., para. 122.
[10] A/56/1026‑S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221.
[11] S/2003/529, annex.