Did you know that over the past 6 years over 10,000 people have died of cholera in Haiti? This may not sound like a shocking statistic, but before 2010, the tiny country had been free of the disease for more than a century. That was no mean feat for an impoverished nation where sewers are almost non-existent and the water supply is tenuous. It is also unsurprising that the outbreak began after the devastating earthquake that rocked the country.
Here’s the shocking part:
The first victims who died lived alongside the Meille River, near the United Nations Base that housed 454 peacekeepers from Nepal. A cholera outbreak was already racing through Nepal and evidence has shown that the peacekeepers brought it with them. Waste from the base regularly leaked into the Mille River, spreading the disease to those that lived along the river banks.
The outbreak spread. The death toll rose to 10,000 (though it has been suggested that this figure may be much lower than the actual deaths caused by the outbreak.) The New York Times quotes a study from Doctors Without Borders that suggests the actual death toll could be as much as three times higher than reported across the board and up to ten times higher in some areas. This is due to mortality statistics being supplied primarily by heath care providers, so statistics would only record those that died in the facility. Many impoverished Haitians probably never made it to the clinic.
The UN denied responsibility for years
The United Nations has consistently denied any responsibility for the outbreak. Philip Alston, a law professor, is an adviser on human rights issues for the United Nations and his 19-page report is damning. He states bluntly that the epidemic was caused by sewage from the United Nations base leaking into the water supply. he says the epidemic:
“would not have broken out but for the actions of the United Nations.”
In the face of this evidence, Ban ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, finally admitted the fact that the UN played a significant role in the initial outbreak. However, he did not admit that the UN actually caused the outbreak.
And the UN is claiming diplomatic immunity in order to avoid paying compensation to victims and their families.
Haiti is one of the poorest nations on earth and the people live for the most part, in abject poverty. The loss of a working age family member can be catastrophic to a family and in the case of the sole breadwinner dying entire families have been left destitute.
The UN is not the do-good organization it pretends to be
The United Nations likes to present itself as an organization intent on helping those who need assistance and focused on world peace, rainbows, and lollipops for everyone. “Peacekeepers” is such a warm and fuzzy name for them, unless you happen to have watched The Hunger Games. But the truth couldn’t be further from the image that they like to convey. While they pretend to “help,” the actual goal is to further the policies of Agenda 21 and extend their control to the furthest reaches of the globe.
And it goes even further. In the most recent scandal, so-called peacekeepers in Central Africa were accused of raping and beating underage girls (as young as 12 years old.) In 2014, there were 99 rape allegations. Many young girls there have “peacekeeper babies” that were either conceived in rape or conceived when the peacekeepers offered them food or small change for sex.
But, immunity. “The UN can send troops home and document the reasons why, but it can’t impose criminal charges or jail offenders.”
It’s a known fact that diplomats claim immunity from prosecution to avoid everything from a traffic violation fine to a homicide charge. Apparently, UN Peacekeepers get the same perks, whether they rape children or kill off 10,000 Haitians.
And they’ll never pay a dime in restitution…because, diplomatic immunity.
In the case of Haiti, it’s truly disgusting that they can simply walk away without a trace of financial responsibility for the THOUSANDS of lives lost here. It was outright negligence on the part of the organization who moved peacekeeping troops from an area known to be suffering from a cholera outbreak into a disaster zone. People were already displaced by the massive earthquake that had hit the country, weakened in many cases by injuries and concurrent illness. Haiti was a prime site for cholera to get a hold and fast. Many diseases are opportunists and will re-emerge after any kind of collapse or disaster.
For the UN to take SIX YEARS to admit their part in the outbreak is bad enough, but to refuse to assist the desperately poor people affected by their ineptitude and lack of planning? That is disgusting. Hiding behind the shield of diplomatic immunity to avoid paying compensation is immoral, unethical, and should be considered criminal.
To quote from Philip Alston’s report the United Nations’ Haiti cholera policy:
“is morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating.” He added, “It is also entirely unnecessary.” The organization’s continuing denial and refusal to make reparations to the victims, he argued, “upholds a double standard according to which the U.N. insists that member states respect human rights, while rejecting any such responsibility for itself.”
He said, “It provides highly combustible fuel for those who claim that U.N. peacekeeping operations trample on the rights of those being protected, and it undermines both the U.N.’s overall credibility and the integrity of the Office of the Secretary-General.” (source)
I couldn’t agree more.