Haitian Leaders Demand UN Accountability for Cholera

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Thursday, 30 June 2011 18:50

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Leaders of national organizations in Haiti demanded accountability from the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) for introducing a south Asian strain of cholera into the territory.

At a press conference Carole Pierre-Paul Jacob of the Organization for the Solidatiry of Women (SOFA) suggested the United Nations' "centers for the treatment of cholera" to be not satisfyingly contrite as a hypothetical United Nations "center for the prevention of cholera." Madam Jacob called for accountability and reparations from the world organization.

"We demand relief and reparations. And in terms of relief and reparations we demand that, one: MINUSTAH recognizes that this is a crime that is political, against human rights and against a nation, in regards to the question of cholera. They owe these people a public explanation and an apology."

Carole Pierre-Paul

"Secondly, that the money return into the coffers of the state, the $853 million that is being wasted, the money budgeted for MINUSTAH, it must be return to the state so that it can find the means to care for those infected with cholera and to prevent cholera."

"And the next thing we ask, furthermore, we demand that all the soldiers of MINUSTAH, break up into groups to work with organizations like PAPDA and SOFA, and other organizations of social movements, we demand this, because we are not okay, firstly with the military occupation."

"And we demand, that the soldiers of MINUSTAH, in the first reparation that they can give to the people of Haiti, is to mobilize in every corner of the country, in all the thousands of villages, to go dig up latrines, dig for potable aqueducts so that the peasants can find water, because it is because they can not find potable water that they are dying by the cholera."

"They must go and build pumps, it is this type of man power that is missing and we ask also that this is a national mobilization. And within this national mobilization there are other things that can be done."

"If the authorities of the state allow, they could mobilize masses of students that went to study in Cuba, that went to study medicine; there are a number of students now that are on vacation, they can go to the villages and help..."

"For us, we say, we don't want the CTC (cholera treatment center) anymore because the CTC is an organ for treatment, which means the person must already be infected."

"For us we want centers for prevention and treatment so that we can call CPC."

"In the CPC, the prevention is a cultural prevention. For it is potable water we must introduce into the country, the peasants have never found potable water, and they must be able to find potable water today, and it is MINUSTAH who owes us this reparation."

To date, some 5,400 persons have died of cholera and the first suggestion of accountability has pointed in the direction of the United Nations. A U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published on the very day of this press conference found that a pipe dumping refuse in the water stream, among other sanitation deficiencies at a MINUSTAH camp in Mirebalais as the source of the contamination.

Wednesday President Michel Martelly welcomed the new head of MINUSTAH, Chilean, Mariano Fernandez into his post and required that the new head of the mission encourage more visibility from the soldiers, in terms of law enforcement and more participation in reconstruction projects.

Related 06.29.2011: Martelly Urges New MINUSTAH Head to Coordinate with Police and Reconstruction Projects
Related 06.29.2011: U.S. CDC Determines Source of Cholera to be MINUSTAH Camp
Related 06.21.2011: Martelly Launches Health Week in Haiti, Travels to U.S. for Routine Check-up
Related 06.15.2011: Ministry of Public Health Cartoons Aimed at Fighting Cholera [VIDEO]
Related 04.12.2011: Study: U.N. Projections of Cholera Inaccurate
Related 04.12.2011: Christian Churches Denounce Attacks against Voudouist over Cholera
Related 12.07.2010: La MINUSTAH y la epidemia
Source: Metro News {japopup type="iframe" content="http://www.metropolehaiti.com"}MetropoleHaiti.com{/japopup}