PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Haitians held a sit-in protest outside of the National Palace, Tuesday, the occasion of the opening of the 71st United Nations General Assembly, to demand their president call for damages from the UN for its role in the cholera outbreak during his speech to the body.
Following years of denial, in the face of countless research and investigations, the UN finally admitted its role in causing the epidemic that has killed more than 10,000. For this reason, victims and citizens believe nothing should hold back the State from finally acting on their behalf.
According to Radio Metropole, Mario Joseph, a lawyer of the Bureau of International Lawyers (BAI), which is working with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) in filing lawsuits against the UN on behalf of victims, argued that the families of the victims want the Haitian government to begin taking positions in favor of Haiti.
“The authorities should take positions on behalf of their fellow citizens, they must have no fear because the leaders of the UN have recognized, themselves, that cholera was introduced to Haiti by UN peacekeepers from MINUSTAH,” argued the BAI leader.
According to recent statistics more than 10,000 people have been killed since the beginning of the epidemic in 2010. The families of cholera victims have been seeking justice and redress. They solicit the intervention of the Head of State, Jocelerme Privert, on the matter.
The BAI leaders emphasized that the case of cholera must be addressed by the Haitian leader during his speech to the 71st General Assembly.
The claims of victims include a public apology, compensation for the families of victims and actions to eradicate cholera in the Haitian territory.
In July, it was learned that even after the cholera outbreak and reports about the source coming from a United Nations peacekeeping base, the UN mission continued its unsanitary practices of dumping their waste in the nation’s water supply.
The August 18 admission by a top UN official on the responsibility of the UN in the introduction of cholera intensified the efforts by victims and human rights organizations.
The United Nations continues claim immunity from prosecution and suit for the cholera outbreak. A group of 158 members of the U.S. Congress have criticizes the Obama administration for its silence on the matter.
It is important to note that the former U.S. President Bill Clinton was serving as Head of the UN Envoy in Haiti at the time of the outbreak in October 2010.