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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:14 PM

UN will not compensate Haiti cholera victims, Ban Ki-moon tells president

Source: The Guardian

The UN has taken the rare step of invoking its legal immunity to rebuff claims for compensation from 5,000 victims of the Haiti cholera epidemic, the worst outbreak of the disease in modern times and widely believed to have been caused by UN peacekeepers importing the infection into the country.

Citing a convention laid down in 1946, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, telephoned President Michel Martelly of Haiti to tell him that the UN was not willing to compensate any of the claimants. The epidemic has killed almost 8,000 people and stricken hundreds of thousands more – about one out of every 16 Haitians.

For the UN to claim immunity for a crisis that most experts are convinced it unwittingly caused through its own disaster relief mission is highly contentious. The infection is thought to have been carried into Haiti by UN peacekeepers from Nepal sent to help with disaster relief following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Ban's spokesperson issued a carefully worded statement that pointedly did not accept or deny liability for the epidemic. But the statement made clear that the UN would not countenance the compensation claims, invoking its immunity from such legal disputes under section 29 of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/21/un-haiti-cholera-victims-rejects-compensation

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Reply UN will not compensate Haiti cholera victims, Ban Ki-moon tells president (Original post)
alp227 Feb 2013 OP
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #1
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #3
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #5
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #6
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #8
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #10
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #14
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #23
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #24
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #30
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #2
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #4
actslikeacarrot Feb 2013 #19
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #20
actslikeacarrot Feb 2013 #21
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #22
Canuckistanian Feb 2013 #7
triplepoint Feb 2013 #9
cstanleytech Feb 2013 #11
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #18
Sunlei Feb 2013 #12
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #15
Sunlei Feb 2013 #27
dipsydoodle Feb 2013 #13
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #16
laundry_queen Feb 2013 #25
Poll_Blind Feb 2013 #17
Scootaloo Feb 2013 #26
Sunlei Feb 2013 #28
Cal Carpenter Feb 2013 #29

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:32 PM

1. who asked for the fucking un troops, ban-moon? it's already been proven they brought the

 

cholera, too.

and now it's rampant. the very least you could do is pay to clean up the mess *you* made.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:23 PM

3. So they should pay those 5,000 and then withdraw the UN missions there?

Last edited Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:58 PM - Edit history (1)

I doubt that would be a good trade for the people of Haiti.

Allow lawsuits against the UN, and it would be out of existence within one year.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:56 PM

5. what 5000? 7000+ died, plus more in dominican republic, and cases in cuba as well.

 

Last edited Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:16 PM - Edit history (1)

cholera didn't exist there prior to the UN occupation.

500 million sickened.

and thousands still living in tents long after the earthquake that brought these 'saviors'.

but the multinational corps are having a field day.

& ps: UN troops were in haiti *before* the earthquake, & haitians were already protesting their presence, because they were murdering and raping.

they are there to protect multinational property & elites, not ordinary haitians.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:59 PM

6. 500 million with cholera due to the UN mission in Haiti?

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:16 PM

8. brain fart: half a million, not half a billion. 500K.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:55 AM

10. You are right, imagine the lives that could have been saved if the UN had

just not bothered to send aid after the earthquake!!!

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:34 PM

14. ...

 

The UN troops were sent to Haiti in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in January 2010. Nepal was in the middle of a cholera outbreak, as was widely known. If troops came from Nepal, even after the most stringent screening, there was the likelihood that they would bring cholera with them. In practice, screening was very lax for soldiers on their way from Nepal to Haiti. Worse, in the 10 days before they departed, they were given 10-day passes to travel around the country, including the cholera-hit areas. They were not retested on their return.

The cholera epidemic in Haiti started downriver from the Nepalese soldiers' camps at Mirebalais, Hinche and Terre Rouge near a0 tributary of the Artibonite River, north of the capital Port-au-Prince, the first case being confirmed on 22 October 2010. Cholera normally spreads through water contaminated by faecal waste and there was little attempt to dispose of this safely. The independent report found that raw sewage from the Nepalese camp at Mirebalais ended up in tanks that were pumped out twice a week by an independent contractor into a truck. It continues: "The waste is then transported across the street and up a residential dirt road to a location at the top of a hill, where it is deposited in an open septic pit." A photo of the pit in the report shows it to be just a substantial hole in the ground. It is unfenced and children play around it. Another open cesspit nearby was used by the Nepalese soldiers for solid waste, with local residents commenting that "the area is susceptible to flooding and overflow into the tributary during rainfall".

The UN's continuing evasion of responsibility for the Haitian outbreak, the biggest cholera epidemic anywhere in the world in recent years, has practical and fatal consequences for Haitians. It means the rest of the world is unaware of the seriousness of what has happened. The only way such an epidemic can be stopped is to improve Haiti's fresh water supply, sanitation, and health care. When the epidemic started, local medical centres did not even have a place where people could wash their hands. Haiti, where 400,000 people are still living in tents because their houses were destroyed by the earthquake two years ago, does not have any money to build such an infrastructure. When so many die because of incompetence, that incompetence becomes a crime. The UN should admit what it did, build this infrastructure, and pay reparations to its victims.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/shame-on-the-un-for-creating-the-deadly-cholera-epidemic-thats-killed-7500-in-haiti-8373765.html


More than 8,000 Haitians have died from the epidemic and 500,000 people, some 5 per cent of the population, have fallen sick since the disease entered the impoverished Caribbean nation’s water system in October 2010.

Although Haiti has suffered from disasters and epidemics of many varieties, it had been spared cholera for more than 200 years until the arrival of Nepalese peacekeepers in the Mirebalais region, north of Port-au-Prince, in 2010.

Cholera is endemic to the Indian subcontinent, and Nepal had suffered a fresh outbreak shortly before the battalion set off for Haiti. As successive investigations have concluded, the peacekeepers’ base was not provided with efficient sanitation, and soon contaminated waste began flowing into the Meille river, the main source of drinking water for nearby villagers.

Lacking a modern water and sanitation system, most Haitians depend on rivers for all their water needs, and soon the disease was rampaging through the country.

The UN initially denied all responsibility, but in 2012 released a report admitting “the strains isolated in Nepal and Haiti were a perfect match”. But the report went on to argue that “a confluence of factors” was behind the epidemic, which was therefore “not the fault, or deliberate action, of a particular individual”. These factors, including “Haiti’s weak infrastructure”, were responsible for causing it.

But the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti described this as “a legally invalid defence. The weakness of Haiti’s health, water and sanitation systems were … well-known before the outbreak… Haiti’s vulnerability … made the cholera epidemic a directly foreseeable consequence of the UN’s reckless release of contaminants into Haiti’s waterways.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/haitians-rage-as-un-rejects-payout-for-cholera-victims-8507586.html


The video is profoundly disturbing. It shows four men, identified as Uruguayan troops from the UN mission in Haiti (Minustah), seemingly in the act of raping an 18-year-old Haitian youth. Two have the victim pinned down on a mattress, with his hands twisted high up his back so that he cannot move. Perhaps the most unnerving part of the video is the constant chorus of laughter from the alleged perpetrators; to them, apparently, it's just a drunken party. ABC News reports that a Uruguayan navy lieutenant, Nicolas Casariego, has confirmed the authenticity of the video. A medical certificate filed with the court in Port Salut, a southern coastal town where the incident took place, says that the victim was beaten and had injuries consistent with a sexual assault.

The incident is likely to pour more gasoline on the fire of resentment that Haitians have for the UN troops who have occupied their country for more than seven years. There has been a dire pattern of abuses: in December 2007, more than 100 UN soldiers from Sri Lanka were deported under charges of sexual abuse of under-age girls. In 2005, UN troops went on the rampage in Cité Soleil, one of the poorest areas in Port-au-Prince, killing as many as 23 people, including children, according to witnesses...

But Washington... offered no objections to further raids, which continued into 2006...And make no mistake about it: the UN occupation of Haiti is really a US occupation – it is no more a multilateral force than George W Bush's "coalition of the willing" that invaded Iraq. And it is hardly more legitimate, either: it was sent there in 2004 after a US-led effort toppled Haiti's democratically elected government. Far from providing security for Haitians in the aftermath of the coup, Minustah stood by while thousands of Haitians who had supported the elected government were killed, and officials of the constitutional government jailed. Recent WikiLeaks cables also confirm that the US government sees Minustah as an instrument of its policy there.

There is no legitimate reason for a military mission of the United Nations in Haiti. The country has no civil war, and is not the subject of a peace-keeping or post-conflict agreement. And the fact that UN troops are immune from prosecution or legal action in Haiti encourages abuses. To make things even worse, it is now virtually certain that Minustah brought the cholera bacteria to Haiti that has killed more than 6,000 Haitians and infected more than 400,000 in the last 10 months. This was an act of gross negligence: there should have been supervision to make sure that fecal waste from UN troops was not dumped into the water supply, given the risks of such a deadly contamination and the known incapacity of Haiti's water, sanitation and public health system.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/03/minustah-un-haiti-abuse

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:43 PM

23. Like I said, imagine the people that could have been saved if they hadnt gotten involved.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:28 PM

24. UN troops were already in Haiti before the quake, and had been for about 5 years. Haitians were

 

trying to get them out, because they were murdering and raping.

They are there to protect international capital, not ordinary Haitians.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #24)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 03:08 PM

30. And I repeat, imagine the people that could have been saved if they had just

not gotten involved at all in that country for any reason.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:33 PM

2. K&R

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:28 PM

4. The UN is administering aid to combat the disease

While rebuffing the compensation claims, the UN has vowed to continue its efforts to contain the epidemic. So far the UN has spent $118m on medical equipment, health networks, water and sewerage improvements, health education at schools and other programmes designed to stem the crisis.

In December, Ban launched an initiative to eliminate the infection, and a new oral vaccination campaign is in the offing.


Allowing lawsuits against the UN is just not workable. Remember that Tea Party jackaloons have access to the federal courts just like we do.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:49 PM

19. sorry, but i dont think ANY...

...organization or person should be above litigation.

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Response to actslikeacarrot (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:55 PM

20. Most bodies created by treaty and international law can't be sued.

If they had to defend litigation in courts across the globe, they'd all cease to exist.

The UN would go broke just from defending lawsuits in Texas.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:00 PM

21. ok, i got it.

Just feel bad for the victims. I do recognize the good that the UN has done there.

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Response to actslikeacarrot (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:02 PM

22. Agree on both accounts.

The lack of accountability for international NGOs can be infuriating. But, unfortunately the means for holding them accountable are mighty limited.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:12 PM

7. Jesus, the Haitian people knew what was going on

They tried to warn the UN, but were dismissed in no uncertain terms, as i recall.

Now the UN is lawyering up.

Wonderful.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:40 PM

9. With Friends like the UN Who Needs Enemas?

 

Last edited Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:09 AM - Edit history (1)

The victims should sue the govt. of the Cholera's country of origin (Nepal)...not the UN.

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Response to triplepoint (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:57 AM

11. Why not sue Darwin? (Or God for some of you)

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:06 PM

18. because the UN brought nepalese troops to haiti while nepal was in the middle of a cholera

 

epidemic, then failed to provide proper sanitation at their camp? and their shit polluted the nearby water supply?

what is so hard to understand about willful negligence?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:23 AM

12. cholera is deadly when people eat/drink feces contaminated stuff and don't get fast treatment.


Cholera is also very treatable and I'm sure many survived who were treated by all the emergency help, UN included.

President Michel Martelly of Haiti should make a disaster plan for his country and train/educate his population on how to keep feces out their drinking water and food. For a start, instead of suing the disaster releif.

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Response to Sunlei (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:47 PM

15. Um; the cholera got into the water supply because the UN mission didn't practice proper sanitation.

 

So your blaming the Haitians and suggesting they are so ignorant and need proper training is really off-base.

The cholera epidemic in Haiti started downriver from the Nepalese soldiers' camps at Mirebalais, Hinche and Terre Rouge near a0 tributary of the Artibonite River, north of the capital Port-au-Prince, the first case being confirmed on 22 October 2010. Cholera normally spreads through water contaminated by faecal waste and there was little attempt to dispose of this safely. The independent report found that raw sewage from the Nepalese camp at Mirebalais ended up in tanks that were pumped out twice a week by an independent contractor into a truck. It continues: "The waste is then transported across the street and up a residential dirt road to a location at the top of a hill, where it is deposited in an open septic pit." A photo of the pit in the report shows it to be just a substantial hole in the ground. It is unfenced and children play around it. Another open cesspit nearby was used by the Nepalese soldiers for solid waste, with local residents commenting that "the area is susceptible to flooding and overflow into the tributary during rainfall".

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/shame-on-the-un-for-creating-the-deadly-cholera-epidemic-thats-killed-7500-in-haiti-8373765.html


Haiti hadn't had cholera for 200 years before the UN came in.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:06 AM

27. Everyone needs training how to handle waste. I'm not 'blaming anyone and want the UN to continue.

That was a disaster area, people were living in the streets.

You think every citizen washed their hands, used a toilet and never drank from or bathed in sewer water? Found treatment the instant they got sick? Finding the source as the open pit sewers dump sites doesn't explain how cholora spead across the country.

That uk media site helps spread the typical Obama hate, and UN hate. For some reason conservatives don't want the UN around anymore.

The President of Haiti- can sue that "independent contractor" if their lawyers want to try to fight contractors like Cheneys Haliburton (good luck)

But they can NOT sue the UN.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:57 AM

13. a new oral vaccination campaign is in the offing........

fat lot of good that will do the dead.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:49 PM

16. notice how they;re going to vaccinate, but not build infrastructure for clean water.

 

profits for pharmacorps.

millions and billions of dollars were donated after the earthquake by well-meaning people. i looked at some of the projects that the bush/clinton foundation funded -- neoliberal bullshite to help corporations, most of it.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:56 PM

25. Everything

you have posted in this thread is spot on. Shame on the UN.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:53 PM

17. NATO troops brought cholera with them, the Haitians KNEW they did, the...

...Haitians were ravaged by it, they began protesting it publicly, UN troops shot and killed a number of Haitian protesters, the UN finally admitted years later that some UN forces were, in fact, responsible for the Haitian outbreak of cholera and now, years later, they absolve themselves of all responsibility.

Anyone who's not very aware of all the twists and turns this story took should really look into it. It's like one irony after another.

PB

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 02:05 AM

26. What the fuck is this?

No, really! Two hundred years, can't someone give Haiti a fucking break? Just one?

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #26)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:11 AM

28. doubt those former slave islands will ever be even as 'free' as the USA south.states are fairto all

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:21 AM

29. So fucked up.

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