A UN panel investigating the source of Haiti’s 2010 cholera outbreak has turned up circumstantial evidence suggesting that UN peacekeepers may have introduced a lethal strain of the disease into the Haitian population, triggering an epidemic that has killed more than 4500 people and made 300,000 ill.
But the panel stopped short of blaming the blue-helmeted forces for causing the cholera outbreak, saying the elements contributing to the spread of the disease – including poor sanitation and a dysfunctional healthcare system – were so varied as to make it impossible to identify a specific culprit.
”The independent panel concludes that the Haiti cholera outbreak was caused by the confluence of circumstances … and was not the fault of, or deliberate action of, a group or individual,” the report said.
UN peacekeeping officials highlighted the inconclusive findings to underscore there was no hard evidence linking the UN peacekeeping mission to the cholera outbreak.
The UN will establish a taskforce to study the findings and recommendations, including a call for the screening of peacekeepers for cholera, said Martin Nesirky, the spokesman for Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.
In October, the cholera bacterium appeared for the first time in Haiti in nearly a century, striking its first victims near a UN outpost in Mirebalais, a town on the Meye tributary of the Artibonite River. Cholera causes dehydrating diarrhoea that can kill children and adults in less than 12 hours.
Within days, the disease had spread throughout the river delta to the coast, infecting thousands of Haitians in towns along the river. It has since spread throughout the country and continues to claim lives.
Haitians and public health experts elsewhere suspected that UN peacekeepers contaminated the river. A Nepalese force arrived at Mirebalais between October 8 and October 24, the same period the first cholera deaths were recorded.
In December, Mr Ban commissioned an independent panel to ”investigate and seek to determine the source” of the cholera outbreak. The four-member team concluded that the cholera strain came from south Asia and that it was probably introduced by human activity around the UN base along the Meye tributary. The panel also cited a poorly constructed sewage system at the base, which allowed human faeces and other waste to flow into the tributary.
The panel also noted that UN medical records show no evidence that Nepalese peacekeepers showed signs of illness before or during the outbreak.
Peacekeepers from other countries, including a contingent of 60 Bangladeshi policemen posted at Mirebalais, were also deployed in the area.
More smoke and mirrors.
No cholera in Haiti for 100 years.
There are photographs of the Nepalese Battalion dumping shit into the Artibonite River system next to their camp
Five days later the epidemic started a few miles downriver.
With this type of evidence, in an American murder trail, people would have been hanged, electrocuted, receive fatal injections…
Through is normal, day-to-day indifference to Haiti’s well-being, coupled with the overall UN incompetence, the epidemic should come as no surprise, nor should the UN refusal to deal with it is a full-scale manner that is required.
Over 1,000,000 will be infected before the end of 2011, if international medical projections are accepted. As many as 50% could die!!
Results that could challenge those of the 2010 earthquake and people are already trying to ignore cholera, as though it does not exist.