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In Haiti the UN’s behaviour is a far cry from being the conscience of the world | Ian Birrell | Comment is free | The Guardian


Consider the facts. In 2010, UN peacekeepers went to Haiti to protect stability and prevent the spread of disease following a devastating earthquake. Instead, Nepalese soldiers almost certainly imported cholera, a condition not seen in the country for more than a century, then spread it by dumping sewage into a river. More than 8,000 Haitians have died so far, with another 647,000 people infected, yet from the start media and public health investigators met obfuscation from officials.

The UN refuses to take responsibility for events, yet even its own panel of international experts implicated the organisation and Bill Clinton, its special envoy for Haiti, accepted that peacekeepers caused the outbreak. Haitian victims filed for compensation – but at the end of last month, in one more cruel blow against this blighted country, it hid behind diplomatic immunity to reject their request for redress. About one in 15 Haitians have been affected by the outbreak; if similar numbers were infected here, we would be looking at about four million cases. But Ban Ki-moon, the UN the secretary general, called the Haitian president to say his organisation was using a 67-year-old convention to avoid paying redress. via  | The Guardian.

 

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