Sicily withdraws authorisation for MUOS satellite system

Opponents concerned about environmental and health impact

Sicily withdraws authorisation for MUOS satellite system

Palermo, March 29 - Sicily's regional environment and territory department on Friday definitively withdrew authorisation for the construction of a contested US military satellite communications system near the town of Niscemi in the southern part of the island. The announcement came from Sicilian regional governor Rosario Crocetta on the eve of a national protest against the project, part of a global satellite defense network called the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) that should aid US and NATO military operations as well as relief efforts. Opponents say it will be an environmental and health nuisance and threatens world peace. In January Sicilian regional authorities moved to halt construction after protestors blocked trucks and cranes and later clashed with police near an American military base. Since then there have been other protests predominantly involving mothers from the area.

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