Sunday, July 15, 2018
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UN, police teargas Matthew victims ahead of Ban Ki Moon visit

Samuel Maxime


LES CAYES, Sud, HT ( – UN peacekeepers and Haitian police officers fired teargas at Hurricane Matthew victims clamoring for food aid in the southern city of Les Cayes. The crowd of people had become inpatient waiting for the distribution of the relief, which wasn’t allowed to begin until the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, was present on the scene for the photo op.

UN Teargas
United Nations peacekeepers fire teargas from behind tree in Les Cayes

The clash between rock-throwing residents and teargas firing forces began to calm down as Ban Ki Moon’s helicopter approached, according to the Guardian. In recent days, Associated Press reporters have observed a number of skirmishes between Haitians in hard-hit areas seeking emergency aid being timed by international and local organizations.

The UN Secretary General was making a stop of just over 3 hours in Haiti, where he has appealed to UN member nations to provide $120 million towards addressing the cholera outbreak, caused by UN peacekeepers in 2010. The UN said the fund is designed to help Haiti overcome cholera and build stronger water, sanitation and health systems, though the most recent official report done by Haitians estimated the challenged needed $3.1 billion to be met.

“I met so many displaced persons, young people, women who were pregnant and sick people. It was heartbreaking,” Ban Ki Moon said, describing his tour of an emergency shelter in the town of Les Cayes packed with families whose homes were destroyed.

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About The Author

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.