US makes a case for keeping UN troops in Haiti

[The US, sponsor of the 2004 coup d’etat in Haiti which removed the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and the overseer of the occupation of Haiti ever since, responds to the protests demanding an end to the occupation with another call–for more occupation. The mis-information in the US call is wearing thin as even the most slavish supporters of the occupation–from the puppet president of Haiti, to the occupation forces from Brazil and Honduras, to even the UN Secretary General–are calling for reductions and retreats on forces in Haiti. — Frontlines ed.]

Monday, September 19, 2011

NEW YORK, USA (CMC) — The United States is calling on the United Nations to keep its peacekeeping troops in Haiti even as it note that strong rules of engagement will be important to deal with a stable but fragile security situation in the French speaking country.

In an article in the Herald Tribune, the US Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, said Washington supports the renewal of the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti’s (MINUSTAH) mandate for another year under broadly the same terms as the 2010 mandate.

“MINUSTAH has been working tirelessly in Haiti to restore a secure and stable environment, to promote the political process, and to strengthen Haiti’s Government institutions and rule-of-law-structures, as well as to promote and to protect human rights.

“MINUSTAH has provided vital security and logistical support during presidential and legislative elections, supported programs designed to strengthen the rule of law, and conducted capacity building work with the Haitian National Police (HNP) through the 2006 HNP Reform Plan.

“The United States commends the UN role in previous elections, and underscores the importance of UN assistance with the next round of partial national and local elections in Haiti”. Continue reading

Minustah’s filthy record in Haiti

The overwhelming evidence is that the UN force in Haiti caused the cholera that has killed thousands: a highly symbolic tragedy

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 11 September 2011

haiti cholera outbreak

Independent reports concur that the cholera outbreak that has killed 6,200 Haitians was caused by reckless sewage disposal by Minustah troops. Photograph: Ramon Espinosa/ AP/AP

How much is a Haitian life worth to the UN? Apparently, not even an apology.

On 6 August, a unit of the 12,000 member United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (Minustah) based in the central plateau city of Hinche was caught dumping faeces and other waste in holes a few feet from a river where people bathe and drink. After complaints by locals and an investigation by journalists, city officials burned the waste near the Guayamouc river. The mayor of Hinche, André Renaud, criticised Minustah’s flagrant disregard for the community’s health and called for the expulsion of some foreign troops.

On 21 August, the UN was again accused of improper sewage disposal, 10 miles from Hinche.

As is their wont, Minustah officials simply deny dumping sewage. Last week, the UN released a statement claiming they had no reason to dump waste since the base in Hinche built a treatment plant and sewage disposal on 15 June.

“The United Nations Mission for Stabilisation in Haiti (Minustah) formally denies being responsible for the dumping of waste in Hinche or elsewhere in the territory of Haiti.”

For anyone who has followed Minustah’s operations this denial rings hollow. Ten months ago, reckless sewage disposal at the UN base near Mirebalais caused a devastating cholera outbreak (pdf). In October 2010, a new deployment of Nepalese troops brought the water-borne disease to Haiti that has left 6,200 dead and more than 438,000 ill. Continue reading

Protesters in Haiti demand UN troop withdrawal following alleged abuse of young man

By Associated Press

September 14

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Protesters calling for the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers from Haiti clashed with police Wednesday outside the earthquake-damaged Haitian National Palace.

The protesters hurled rocks at Haitian police in riot gear as they wanted to see a withdrawal of the U.N. troops who have helped keep order in Haiti since 2004, when political violence engulfed the country. The officers responded by firing volleys of tear gas canisters toward the crowd of several hundred demonstrators.

As the crowd dispersed, many protesters fled into the Champs des Mars, the park that became a huge encampment of tents and shanties following the January 2010 earthquake, and camp residents rubbed lime on their nostrils in an effort to keep the stinging gas at bay.

Several local journalists told The Associated Press that two of their colleagues were beaten by riot police. One of the injured reporters was taken to the hospital for a broken bone in his right foot, the journalists and Haitian newspaper Le Matin reported. Continue reading

Anti-MINUSTAH Protests Continue in Haiti

Port au Prince, Sep 16 (Prensa Latina) The civilian organization that organized the protests to demand the pullout of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) announced that demonstrations will continue as long as those forces remain here.At least one person was wounded in clashes with police on Wednesday, as protestors chanted slogans demanding the withdrawal of the international military body.In a communiqué sent to Prensa Latina, the Group for Compensation of Cholera Victims explained that the objective of the mobilization is to change de stand of senators and of President Michel Martelly, who defend a phased pullout.

“We cannot give more time for MINUSTAH to continue its violations,” says the document.

Protests were triggered by release of footage of five soldiers subduing a young boy in a barrack in southern Port Salut, 174 km from the capital. Continue reading

Haiti: Riots against UN’s MINUSTAH in Port-au-Prince

September 15, 2011

Port-au-Prince (Reuters) – Haitian police on Wednesday clashed with demonstrators who demanded the withdrawal of United Nations peacekeepers in a protest against the alleged rape of a local man by a group of Uruguayan Marines.

Police in the capital Port-au-Prince used teargas to stop about 300 protesters from entering a square in front of the damaged presidential palace where survivors of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake are still sheltering in a tent and tarpaulin camp.

Traffic was disrupted as pedestrians and camp dwellers, many clutching small children, fled to escape the swirling teargas. Some demonstrators hurled stones at police officers.

The UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has faced a public outcry since the emergence earlier this month of a video shot by a cellphone camera that shows laughing Uruguayan Marines pinning a young Haitian man face down on a mattress and apparently assaulting him sexually. Continue reading

Haiti: People’s anger grows over UN/government response to cholera epidemic

AlJazeera, November 11, 2010

In Haiti, residents of the capital’s largest slum have been demonstrating over the cholera outbreak. The protesters say the government and the UN have failed to protect them and vent their anger at NGO’s in the country.

Al Jazeera’s Cath Turner’s was at Cite Soleil.

 

[The following article states that the concern of the UN occupation is over the “‘political incitement of demonstrations’ against cholera treatment centers and UN peacekeeping bases ahead of Nov. 28 presidential and parliamentary elections.”  The concerns of the occupation forces have nothing in common with the concerns of the Haitian people.–Frontlines ed.]

Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic Threatens National Security, UN Says

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) — The cholera epidemic that has killed more than 900 people in Haiti is an “issue of national security” two weeks before elections there, the head of United Nations humanitarian aid operations said today.

“This is far beyond, now, a health or sanitation matter,” Nigel Fisher told reporters in New York during a teleconference from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Fisher said the UN is concerned about “political incitement of demonstrations” against cholera treatment centers and UN peacekeeping bases ahead of Nov. 28 presidential and parliamentary elections.

More than 700 demonstrators targeted a UN base and cholera treatment centers today in Cap Haitien, Haiti’s second-largest city. Haitians who claim UN peacekeeping soldiers from Nepal were the cause of the cholera outbreak set two police stations on fire after clashing with authorities in a protest at a UN base, according to Radio Kiskeya. Continue reading

Haiti’s Earthquake Victims: “We Have Been Forgotten”

IJDH – Boston, MA – Eight months after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, more than 1.3 million Haitians continue to live in makeshift tent camps without adequate shelter, food or sanitation, according to a report released today by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH). The report, titled “We Have Been Forgotten”: Conditions in Haiti’s Displacement Camps Eight Months After the Earthquake, documents continuing desperation in Haiti’s camps and recommends a rights-based approach to relief and reconstruction. Despite the international community’s historic generosity following the January 12, 2010 earthquake, the support has not been translated into effective assistance for the residents of approximately 1,300 makeshift tent camps, where conditions for some are getting worse, not better.

“The basic needs of residents must be prioritized immediately. While the Government of Haiti bears the primary duty to protect the economic and social rights of its citizens, donor states and relief agencies must also meet certain standards in carrying out assistance to Haiti. This obligation arises from international law but also from the significant role the international community assumed in providing relief services in Haiti,” said Nicole Phillips, Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney and the lead editor and coordinator of the report. Continue reading