Posts Tagged ‘United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti’

Cholera in Haiti introduced by UN Nepalese troops confirms Swedish Ambassador

November 16, 2010
A man, apparently turning on a water pipe, is ...

"Turning on the cholera": Image via Wikipedia

It would seem that the cholera tap in Haiti was “turned” on by UN troops.

Translated freely from Svenska Dagbladet:

Violent riots have erupted in Haiti after rumors of the cholera infection
having originated from the Nepalese UN staff – something which the UN denied. But now, the Swedish Ambassador Claes Hammar has confirmed that the rumor is true. ” I’ve had it confirmed by a diplomatic source that the cholera comes from Nepa ” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

Since the earthquake on 12 January, cholera has taken hold in the extreme poor living conditions in Haiti. The epidemic broke out in October and since then more than 900 people have died and 15 000 are believed to be infected.

Violent riots broke out yesterday in the cities of Cap Haitien, Hinche and Milot, when hundreds of people attacked the UN mission, MINUSTAH. The riots began after a rumor that previously infected Nepalese UN personnel took cholera to the island. The UN has always denied the rumors.

But now Claes Hammar, Sweden’s ambassador to the country has confirmed for Svenska Dagbladet that the information is correct. Two weeks ago he visited Haiti. “Yes, unfortunately it is so. It has been shown that the cholera is from Nepal. This is obviously a strain of the disease that is prevalent in Nepal and now it seems that to have ended up in Haiti. I have received the information from a diplomatic source. It is 100 percent accurate. We have taken samples and traced the infection to Nepal”.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that the cholera epidemic in Haiti came from South Asia, but it had not identified any specific country. Cholera has never previously been detected in Haiti.

The cholera began to spread in areas that were not affected by the earthquake and only after the Nepalese forces arrived. The UN has also accepted that health problems exist at the UN base, but says that the soldiers are not behind the cholera outbreak.

“It is of course very sad that this has happened. But one should not forget the disease spreads because of poor hygiene. The UN is making great efforts to combat the outbreak “, said Claes Hammar.

The violence that erupted yesterday in Haiti occurred just two weeks before presidential and parliamentary elections due on November 28. Svenska Dagbladet can also reveal that, according to an internal UN report it is the notorious rebel leader Guy Philippe, wanted by U.S. authorities for drug smuggling, who is behind the riots.  He is thought to have started the riots across Haiti by sending out many text messages in which he asked the locals to attack the UN force. The UN headquarters in Cap Haitien was attacked by hundreds of people who threw stones and bottles.

The violence escalated later in the day, when several police stations were attacked and burned down. A hospital in the town of Milot was attacked by hundreds of people protesting that the hospital was accepting cholera patients. At the same time the Nepalese UN troops were subjected to stone throwing by a large crowd in the town of Hinche. The soldiers responded with tear gas. Local people also opened fire on UN troops in Cap Haitien who were forced to shoot back in self defense, according to a statement from the UN.
Two Haitians have died and dozens were injured in the disturbances. Seven of the United Nations force were injured.

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