Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

UN finally admits it caused cholera in Haiti – and immediately claims immunity

August 19, 2016

The UN introduced cholera to Haiti which has killed some 10,000 (and perhaps up to 30,000). This was apparent over 5 years ago.

It is not just UN incompetence – mistakes happen – which increases my level of bile. It is partly because the UN actions amounted to gross negligence and could have been prevented with trivial amounts of money. It is the knee-jerk denial of responsibility and – always – the claim of immunity (just in case they are found to be responsible). It applies as well to cholera in Haiti as to the sexual exploitation of poor African children by UN troops. And Ban Ki Moon – may his name be forever exalted – has been the Denier-In-Chief. There ought to be a public dismissal of the irresponsible incompetents. But that will never happen.

The UN and its agencies has more than its fair share of incompetents. Many countries appoint UN officials as a political reward. That gives us incompetent doctors, engineers, economists and administrators in many key positions, who are there either as a sinecure and/or a political reward. Of course these are just a few “bad apples”, but when they are bad they are horrid. That’s bad enough but what is obscene is that they are immune from any consequences of their incompetence.

I would have thought that these highly-paid, privileged and protected officials, particularly in such institutions (UN, EU, EC, WB, IMF, WHO, ADB …..), rather than being granted immunity, should be held to much higher standards of performance and accountability than any other bureaucrats.

A special rapporteur has slammed the UN in a confidential report to the UN. The epidemic “would not have broken out but for the actions of the United Nations.” The United Nations’ Haiti cholera policy “is morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating.”

NYT:

For the first time since a cholera epidemic believed to be imported by United Nations peacekeepers began killing thousands of Haitians nearly six years ago, the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged that the United Nations played a role in the initial outbreak and that a “significant new set of U.N. actions” will be needed to respond to the crisis.

The deputy spokesman for the secretary general, Farhan Haq, said in an email this week that “over the past year, the U.N. has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.” He added that a “new response will be presented publicly within the next two months, once it has been fully elaborated, agreed with the Haitian authorities and discussed with member states.”

The statement comes on the heels of a confidential report sent to Mr. Ban by a longtime United Nations adviser on Aug. 8. Written by Philip Alston, a New York University law professor who serves as one of a few dozen experts, known as special rapporteurs, who advise the organization on human rights issues, the draft language stated plainly that the epidemic “would not have broken out but for the actions of the United Nations.

The secretary general’s acknowledgment, by contrast, stopped short of saying that the United Nations specifically caused the epidemic. Nor does it indicate a change in the organization’s legal position that it is absolutely immune from legal actions, including a federal lawsuit brought in the United States on behalf of cholera victims seeking billions in damages stemming from the Haiti crisis.

But it represents a significant shift after more than five years of high-level denial of any involvement or responsibility of the United Nations in the outbreak, which has killed at least 10,000 people and sickened hundreds of thousands. Cholera victims suffer from dehydration caused by severe diarrhea or vomiting. …. 

Special rapporteurs’ reports are technically independent guidance, which the United Nations can accept or reject. United Nations officials have until the end of this week to respond to the report, which will then go through revisions, but the statement suggests a new receptivity to its criticism.

In the 19-page report, obtained from an official who had access to it, Mr. Alston took issue with the United Nations’ public handling of the outbreak, which was first documented in mid-October 2010, shortly after people living along the Meille River began dying from the disease. ……. 

….. Mr. Alston wrote that 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.”

UN Cholera


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UN evades responsibility for at least 9,000 cholera deaths (supported by Obama)

June 30, 2016

Haiti-cholera-UN1

The UN introduced cholera to Haiti which caused the deaths of at least 9,000 (officially 9,000, unofficially about 30,000 and with a possibility of being up to 100,000 deaths). The UN culpability and incompetence is clear. The outbreak could have been prevented “if the UN had spent just $2,000 for advance health checks and preventive antibiotics for their troops from Nepal who carried the disease. The cost of the UN incompetence in addition to the 9,000 lives lost is now estimated to be over $2 billion”. But the UN denies responsibility. In March this year came reports that “the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has been chastised by five of the UN’s own human rights experts who accuse him of undermining the world body’s credibility and reputation by denying responsibility for the devastating outbreak of cholera in Haiti. In a withering letter to the UN chief, the five special rapporteurs say that his refusal to allow cholera victims any effective remedy for their suffering has stripped thousands of Haitians of their fundamental right to justice”.

The US has been supporting Ban Ki-moon both in his denial of responsibility and in his claim of immunity for all UN actions. “Naturally anybody on UN duty is immune from any prosecution – even for blatant incompetence or gross negligence”.

Now The Guardian reports that a bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress have criticised Obama for his stance:

A bipartisan group of 158 members of Congress has accused the Obama administration of a failure of leadership over the cholera scandal in Haiti in which at least 30,000 people have died as a result of an epidemic caused by the United Nations for which the world body refuses to accept responsibility.

A joint letter highly critical of US policy – and devastatingly critical of the UN – has been sent to the US secretary of state, John Kerry, signed by 12 Republican and 146 Democratic members of Congress. Led by John Conyers, a Democratic congressman from Michigan, and Mia Love, a Republican congresswoman from Utah, the letter’s signatories include many of the most senior voices on foreign affairs on Capitol Hill.

The missive takes the Obama administration to task for failing to admonish the UN for its refusal to accept responsibility for the cholera outbreak. “We are deeply concerned that the State Department’s failure to take more leadership in the diplomatic realm might be perceived by our constituents and the world as a limited commitment to an accountable and credible UN,” the letter says.

It continues: “We respectfully urge the Department of State to treat the issue of a just and accountable UN response to Haiti’s cholera with the urgency that 10,000-100,000 deaths and catastrophic damage to the UN’s credibility deserves.”

….. As part of the UN’s dogged denial of culpability, the organization has made a blanket rejection of calls for compensation contained in a class action lawsuit filed in New York by victims of the disaster. The world body is claiming immunity from damages in the case. The US government chose to represent the UN’s defense in the litigation in front of the federal second circuit appeals court. That prompted the three-member panel of judges to question US lawyers over the Obama administration’s apparent unwillingness to use its diplomatic muscle to force the UN to shift its contentious position. …..

With cholera still raging in parts of Haiti, and aid groups on the ground reporting ongoing suffering amid inadequate provision of medical help and sanitation, the Congress members called on the state department to “immediately and unreservedly exercise its leadership … Each day that passes without an appropriate UN response is a tragedy for Haitian cholera victims, and a stain on the UN’s reputation.”

Of course the US claims the same kind of immunity for its troops on active missions abroad (and the US has even tried to claim that kind of immunity for those accused of rape on Okinawa but had to give way eventually). So perhaps the Obama government’s defence of Ban Ki-moon is just a self-serving but unprincipled exercise to protect their own position regarding the responsibility of their troops when abroad.

But it is a shameful position.


 

UN cholera which killed 9,000 could have been prevented for $2,000

April 14, 2016

The UN peace keeping force which moved to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake introduced cholera which killed 9,000 people. Haiti had not, for at least 100 years, and possibly never before, had a cholera outbreak. A new Yale study shows that it could have been prevented if the UN had spent just $2,000 for advance health checks and preventive antibiotics for their troops from Nepal who carried the disease. The cost of the UN incompetence in addition to the 9,000 lives lost is now estimated to be over $2 billion.

Of course, Ban Ki-moon spent months spinning the story and denying responsibility. (Just as he is still denying UN responsibility for the sexual predations of UN troops in Africa). Naturally anybody on UN duty is immune from any prosecution – even for blatant incompetence or gross negligence.

It can only be considered incompetence on the part of the UN when the study states “Prior to the outbreak, there were no biomedical interventions in place to prevent its occurrence despite the recognized risk for spread of infectious diseases from military to civilian populations”.

JA Lewnard et al, Strategies to Prevent Cholera Introduction during International Personnel Deployments: A Computational Modeling Analysis Based on the 2010 Haiti Outbreak, January 26, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001947

One of the most severe cholera epidemics of the modern era began in Haiti in 2010, causing over 700,000 reported cases and nearly 9,000 deaths to date. Prior to the outbreak, cholera had been absent from Haiti for over a century. Several pieces of evidence have contributed to widespread acceptance that the epidemic resulted from contamination of the Artibonite watershed with infected sewage from a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) base. The causative Vibrio cholerae strain was imported from Nepal and diverged from strains circulating in that country around the time 454 Nepalese troops were deployed to Haiti, and the first cholera cases in Haiti were seen downstream from the base days after troops arrived.

…. The cholera outbreak in Haiti arose from a confluence of preventable circumstances. Systemic inadequacies in sanitation infrastructure made Haiti vulnerable to water-borne disease, like other disaster-affected settings where peacekeeping operations are undertaken. Mass personnel movements from a cholera-endemic country and deficient waste management practices at a MINUSTAH base led to the introduction of V. cholerae to a susceptible population. Prior to the outbreak, there were no biomedical interventions in place to prevent its occurrence despite the recognized risk for spread of infectious diseases from military to civilian populations. While the UN has been reluctant to implement interventions in the wake of the epidemic in part due to uncertainties surrounding their effectiveness, our findings suggest antimicrobial chemoprophylaxis reduces the risk of disease introduction by over 90%. The low costs and minimal logistical burden of chemoprophylaxis relative to the other interventions suggest this approach warrants consideration as a strategy to limit risk for cholera introduction in future peacekeeping operations.

The Guardian writes:

The devastating Haiti cholera epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives and will cost more than $2bn to eradicate could have been prevented if the United Nations had used a basic health kit for a total of less than $2,000, scientists have found.

A team of Yale epidemiologists and lawyers has looked at how the cholera bacterium was introduced to Haiti by United Nations peacekeepers relocated there in the aftermath of its 2010 earthquake. Yale’s startling finding is that simple screening tests costing $2.54 each, combined with preventive antibiotics at less than $1 per peacekeeper, could have avoided one of the worst outbreaks of the deadly disease in modern history.

The Yale experts warn that the catastrophe in Haiti could be repeated as the UN appears to have failed to learn the lessons of its lack of preventive screening of peacekeepers. Some 150,000 UN peacekeepers are deployed from cholera-endemic countries each year but there is still no routine procedure to ensure they are free of the infection before being moved.

At least 9,000 Haitians, and possibly many more, have died in the continuing cholera epidemic that erupted in October 2010, it is thought as a result of untreated sewage from UN peacekeeping camps being dumped straight into a river. It was the first outbreak of the disease in Haiti in 150 years, and was almost certainly caused by the relocation of UN peacekeepers from Nepal, where cholera is present, to Haiti for emergency earthquake assistance.

Related:

UN’s own experts chastise Ban Ki-moon over handling of Haiti cholera outbreak


Callous UN claims immunity to escape compensation for introducing cholera to Haiti

February 22, 2013

The UN has claimed immunity to avoid any compensation for introducing cholera to Haiti.

Sometime in October / November 2010, cholera was introduced into Haiti by Nepali UN troops. These troops were not sufficiently screened by the UN before being deployed and many were carriers of a Nepali strain of cholera. Even though they were being introduced into a region recovering from an earthquake the troops received no information or training regarding good practices regarding sewage handling or preventing the spread of infection.  The outbreak of cholera that was caused by broken sewage pipes from their camp developed into a virulent and catastrophic epidemic  in the infrastructural chaos that prevailed in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake.  There is little doubt that this was the cause of the outbreak though this has never been acknowledged by the UN. The subsequent efforts made by the UN and the WHO  to fight the epidemic were not also free of criticism. Cheap but untested vaccines were deployed to contain costs. Till UN cholera arrived, Haiti had been free of cholera for over 100 years. Some 600,000 were infected in currently the largest outbreak in the world and almost 8,000 people have died. This virulent South Asian strain of cholera is now established in the Americas.

UN Cholera: image Reuters - Allison Shelley

UN Cholera: image Reuters – Allison Shelley

And now the UN has claimed immunity to avoid having to pay any compensation. The immunity is claimed under its own “UN’s Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN”. Of course the moral compass of the UN is only as good as that of its worst member but considering the overwhelming poverty in Haiti, invoking this convention seems a particularly callous and cowardly path to follow. It would seem that the UN (read the “world community”) does not put a very high value on a Haitian life. Cheap troops, cheap vaccines, cheap practices and no compensation! Perhaps the “world community” represented by the UN believes that Haiti has already received more than its fair share of economic support?

BBC: 

The United Nations has formally rejected compensation claims by victims of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that has killed almost 8,000 people. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Haitian President Michel Martelly to inform him of the decision.

The UN says it is immune from such claims under the UN’s Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN. Evidence suggests cholera was introduced to Haiti through a UN base’s leaking sewage pipes. The UN has never acknowledged responsibility for the outbreak – which has infected more than 600,000 people – saying it is impossible to pinpoint the exact source of the disease, despite the mounting evidence the epidemic was caused by poor sanitation at a camp housing infected Nepalese peacekeepers. 

In a terse statement, Mr Ban’s spokesman said damages claims for millions of dollars filed by lawyers for cholera victims was “not receivable” under the 1947 convention that grants the UN immunity for its actions. …… 

……. The lawyer, Brian Concannon, said the victims’ legal team would challenge the UN’s right to immunity from Haitian courts, on the grounds that it had not established an alternative mechanism for dealing with accountability issues, as stipulated in its agreement with the government.

He also said lifting immunity would not challenge UN policy, which is protected by the convention, but its practice, such as how to test troops for disease and properly dispose of sewage.

One year on, cheap but untested vaccines to be deployed against cholera in Haiti

October 25, 2011

The UN introduced cholera to Haiti and is now embarking on a vaccination program with a vaccine which has been hurriedly approved just in September this year.

Last October the claims that the UN had introduced the disease into Haiti were initially denied but in May this year the United Nations released a long-awaited report indicating that human waste from Nepalese peacekeepers along with dirty drinking water likely triggered the spread of the cholera epidemic that has gripped Haiti since October 2010.

As of last week the cholera outbreak in Haiti has caused 473,649 cases 251,885 hospitalizations and 6,631 deaths. The number of deaths is thought to be an underestimate.

(more…)

UN is only as good as its worst member: Uruguay troops misbehave in Haiti

September 5, 2011

As if Haiti hadn’t enough problems.

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was established in 2004 and was given a new mandate to help maintain order and security following last year’s devastating earthquake. Earlier this year the UN mission was heavily criticised in the handling of the cholera outbreak which killed some 6,000 people. To make it worse it seems that the cholera was introduced into Haiti by peacekeeping troops from Nepal (where cholera is endemic).

Related: Whole-Genome Study Nails Haiti-Nepal Cholera Link

Now the UN and the Haitians have been let down badly by part of the contingent from Uruguay.

AFP: 

MONTEVIDEO — Uruguay announced it has sacked a navy commander with the UN mission in Haiti after a video was circulated of an alleged sexual assault on a young Haitian man by members of a Uruguayan peacekeeping unit.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that in addition to the dismissal of the official — who was not immediately named — a military justice board had been convened and paperwork for the return home of the five allegedly involved had been started.

“The navy wants to go beyond the simple fact of the video (to determine) if there are other violations of conduct,” spokesman Sergio Bique told local media. The suspects will be tried and sentenced appropriately, he stressed.

In Haiti, Magistrate Paul Tarte said Friday that officials were examining testimony from the alleged suspect and images of the incident taken by a cell telephone camera at the base in southern Haiti, which have also been circulated on the Internet. Medical evidence of the attack also was obtained.

UN peacekeeping spokesman Kieran Dwyer said the United Nations acted immediately after hearing about the incident late last week.

The UN is an easy target for criticism and is often castigated from all sides of the political divide (and I am just as guilty in indulging in some of the criticism). But of course the UN is only as good as its worst member and it is the Lowest Common Factor which applies.

UN in Haiti (MINUSTAH): Current strength (31 July 2011)

  • 12,252 total uniformed personnel
    • 8,728 troops
    • 3,524 police
  • 564 international civilian personnel
  • 1,338 local civilian staff
  • 221 United Nations Volunteers

Country contributors

Military personnel – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Japan, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Phillipines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, United States and Uruguay.

Police personnel – Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Grenada, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey, United States, Uruguay and Yemen.

Haiti: The UN cholera tragedy continues…..

December 26, 2010

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) — At least 45 people, most of them voodoo priests, have been lynched in Haiti since the beginning of the cholera epidemic by angry mobs blaming them for the spread of the disease, officials said.

“People who practice voodoo have nothing to do with the cholera epidemic,” said Max Beauvoir, the head of a voodoo organization in the Caribbean country.

Beauvoir said Thursday that he has appealed to authorities to help before the situation gets worse.

Some of the victims were killed with machetes, others were burned alive by mobs that added tires and gasoline to stoke the fires. The cholera outbreak started in October.

Forty of the victims were found in a southwest area of Haiti called Grand Anse, said Moise Fritz Evens, a communications ministry official.

The victims have been targeted because of “misinformation” that had been circulating in the community that voodoo practitioners were spreading cholera by using witchcraft, according to communications Minister Marie-Laurence Lassegue.

“It was necessary to increase awareness of the disease and educate the population countrywide instead of getting into a religious war that has no ending,” Lassegue said.

The killings add to ongoing woes that have hit the island after the devastating earthquake in January. About 220,000 people were killed in the earthquake, and countless others left homeless. A cholera outbreak after the earthquake has killed more than 2,000 people, health officials said.

Before the current outbreak introduced by UN troops, Haiti had not seen cholera for over 100 years.

https://ktwop.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/un-cholera-and-protests-against-un-reach-port-au-prince/

UN to “investigate” its introduction of cholera to Haiti

December 17, 2010

More than a month after the outbreak , the United Nations secretary-general plans to call for an independent commission to study whether U.N. peacekeepers caused a cholera outbreak that has killed more than 2,400 people in Haiti, an official said on Wednesday.

http://www.thehindu.com/health/policy-and-issues/article956037.ece?homepage=true

U.N. officials initially dismissed speculation about the involvement of peacekeepers. The announcement indicates that concern about the epidemic’s origin has now reached the highest levels of the global organization.

“We are urging and we are calling for what we could call an international panel,” U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said at a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York. “We are in discussions with (the U.N. World Health Organization) to find the best experts to be in a panel to be completely independent.”

Le Roy said details about the commission would be announced Friday by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He said cholera experts and other scientists will have full access to U.N. data and the suspected military base.

“They will make their report to make sure the truth will be known,” Le Roy said.

Soon after the cholera outbreak became evident in October, Haitians began questioning whether it started at a U.N. base in Meille, outside the central plateau town of Mirebalais and upriver from where hundreds were falling ill. Speculation pointed to recently arrived peacekeepers from Nepal, a South Asia nation where cholera is endemic.

U.N. officials rejected any idea the base was involved, saying its sanitation was air-tight.

WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said at the time that it was unlikely the origin would ever be known, and that pinning it down was not a priority.

Then the Associated Press found not only sanitation problems at the base, but that the U.N. mission was quietly taking samples from behind the post to test for cholera.

When the CDC determined the strain in Haiti matched one in South Asia, cholera and global health experts said there was now enough circumstantial evidence implicating the likely unwitting Nepalese soldiers to warrant an aggressive investigation.

The experts have also said there are important scientific reasons to trace the origin of the outbreak, including learning how the disease spreads, how it can best be combated and what danger countries around Haiti could face in the coming months and years.

Many think the U.N. mission’s reticence to seriously address the allegations in public helped fuel anti-peacekeeper riots that broke out across the country last month.

This outbreak, which experts estimate could affect more than 600,000 people in impoverished Haiti, involves the first confirmed cases of cholera in Haiti since WHO records began in the mid-20th century. Suspected outbreaks of a different strain of cholera might have occurred in Haiti more than a century ago.

The current outbreak has spread to the neighbouring Dominican Republic and isolated cases have been found in the United States.

French epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux argues that “no other hypothesis” from the Nepalese being the origin could explain his findings that cases of the diarrheal disease first appeared near the U.N. base in Haiti’s rural centre, far from shipping ports and the area affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake.

OAS/CARICOM accept Haiti election results: Was voting necessary?

November 30, 2010

To have a result – of any kind and whether valid or not – seems to be more important than having a proper election result for OAS and CARICOM (Organisation of American States and the Caribbean Community).

Haiti Libre asks plaintively:

But we must remember that in these elections, Haiti did not have much to say. It is decided internationally what is good or what is not for us!

Sometimes we wonder why our citizens have been voting at all?

Election scrutineers are let in to the Santa Ana de Cité Soleil polling station in Port-au-Prince on 29th November. image The Independant

The BBC reports that

Haiti’s general election on Sunday was valid despite “serious irregularities”, international observers have said. The joint mission from the Organisation of American States and the Caribbean regional grouping, Caricom, said delays at some polling stations were not reason enough to cancel the election. Polling day on Sunday was marred by disorganisation and some violence, as well as allegations of fraud in favour of the governing party candidate, Jude Celestin.

The election was characterised by mismanagement and incidents of fraud, our correspondent says. There were multiple reports of would-be voters turning up at polling stations to find they were not registered to vote – and of others having the right papers but no idea where to vote. Some polling stations opened hours late, there were allegations that some people were voting multiple times, and thugs ransacked some polling stations.

Hopefully the cholera outbreak will not get a boost from the enhanced human contact during the campaigning and polling process. But the death toll has passed 2,000. The UN especially has displayed organisational incompetence.

UN Elections in Haiti a shambles

November 28, 2010

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Amid allegations of stuffed ballot boxes and other fraud, 12 of 18 candidates for president (have) called for the elections to be cancelled, (and) accuse President René Préval of trying to fix the contest.

Elections on Sunday in a nation already racked by January’s earthquake and a cholera epidemic devolved into chaos, with thousands of voters unable to find their names on electoral rolls and a general outcry alleging widespread fraud. Twelve of the 18 presidential candidates issued a declaration saying the elections should be canceled and that the people should “mobilize” to prevent the government from accepting the results. They accused President René Préval of conspiring with the electoral council to install his party in Parliament and his pick to succeed him, Jude Celestin, in the National Palace. Celestin was second in recent polling, but a reporter talking to dozens of voters at the polls Sunday could not find a single one who was planning to vote for him. Allegations of fraud are a usual part of Haitian elections but not on the scale of the claims Sunday, coming from thousands of people and the majority of candidates, including at least two of the frontrunners, Manigat and Martelly, who signed the declaration.

But the electoral commission and UN officials seemed to be living in some other reality and declared that all was well. HaitiLibre also describes the status and the apparent fantasy the UN is living in.

Twelve of the 18 candidates in the Haitian presidential election, denounced at a press conference at the Karibe Convention Center, massive fraud and irregularities. They issued a unanimous call for the annulment of the election, following protests from voters who could not vote and many cases of fraud and irregularities observed since the official opening of polling stations.

Three candidates for the presidential election in Haiti, which are Mirlande Manigat, Yvon Neptune and Jacques Edouard Alexis have denounced the fraud and demanded the annulment of the elections, adding their voices to those of other candidates favorable to the end of this sham democratic election …

Patrice Dumond, spokesman for the candidate Manigat “It’s not just fraud, it’s a scandal, a real kidnapping of elections”. Mirlande Manigat during the press conference said “I request the formal CANCELLATION of all electoral activities throughout the territory, what is happening now it’s brigandage organized […] Some State institutions are complicit in this brigandage”. For his part Jacques Edouard Alexis, also requested the cancellation of the poll citing a series of irregularities and involving President René Préval “I do not want an election with him”.

As for Yvon Neptune, also in favor of a cancellation, asks “What can we do in the meantime for good elections? We need a solution between all candidates”.

At Acul-du-Nord and Trou du Nord elections were cancelled. Violent incidents also occurred at Acul du Nord and Trou du Nord, near Cap-Haitien.

Patrick Julien mayor of Acul-du-Nord, said that people were ready to vote, but supporters of the candidates have fired in the air, there have been wounded and he himself was not able to vote “men armed with machetes ransacked six polling stations, elections were canceled,” he said.

At Trou-du-Nord, Mayor Jacques Gustave said a crowd had entered the offices and ransacked polling stations, “the ballots were thrown everywhere, the president of the pooling station made an official report and canceled the election”

At Desdunes in the north, after incidents and gunfire that resulted in injuries, Minustah has sent Sunday morning a half-dozen of armored vehicles “to regain control of the situation.”

Recall that this morning the head of the UN mission in Haiti (Minustah ), Edmond Mulet stated “In general everything goes well, all is quiet. There have been some incidents at Desdunes, minor incidents.” Edmond Mulet said there is no reason to be afraid”. “It’s a electoral feast”… Une déclaration, qui devant les moyens utilisés pour rétablir l’ordre se passe de commentaire…


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