UN caused Haiti cholera outbreak - group

2011-11-08 20:02
Port-au-Prince - A human rights group said on Tuesday it has filed claims with the United Nations seeking damages on behalf of more than 5 000 Haitian cholera victims and their families.

The claims filed by the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti argue that the UN and its peacekeeping force are liable for hundreds of millions of dollars for failing to adequately screen peacekeeping soldiers.

They say the infected soldiers caused the outbreak when untreated waste from a UN base was dumped into a tributary of Haiti's most important river.

"The sickness, death and ongoing harm from cholera suffered by Haiti's citizens are a product of the UN's multiple failures," the complaint reads.

"These failures constitute negligence, gross negligence, recklessness, and deliberate indifference for the lives of Haitians."

Cholera has sickened nearly 500 000 people and killed more than 6 500 others since it surfaced in Haiti in October 2010, according to the Haitian health ministry.

Evidence suggests that the disease was brought to Haiti by a UN battalion from Nepal, where cholera is endemic, and spread throughout the country after a local contractor failed to properly sanitise a UN base.

Public apology

The petition was filed on Thursday with the office of the secretary general in New York and with the claims unit for the mission in Port-au-Prince, said Brian Concannon, an attorney who is the director of the institute.

Concannon said he hoped the UN mission would set up a tribunal to evaluate the claims filed on behalf of the cholera victims.

He also said he hoped the UN force would fund and create a lifesaving programme that would provide sanitation, potable water and medical treatment. He also said he wants a public apology.

"We're obviously hoping that the UN will step up and do the right thing," he said by telephone.

If that doesn't happen, the group plans to file the claims in a Haitian court, he said.

UN spokesperson Sylvie Van Den Wildenberg said she was aware that a group was planning to file the complaint, but couldn't confirm that a claim presented to her was the same one officially received by the United Nations.

"In any case, the petition, when it is received, should be transferred to the legal office and headquarters," Van Den Wildenberg said.

The UN force, known by its French acronym Minustah, arrived in Haiti 2004.
- AP
Read more on:    un  |  haiti
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.