In Haiti, UN Has Done More to Harm Than to Help

Writing at Ebony, France François says that the organization's "occupation in the time of cholera" is "despicable" and has harmed residents.  

Posted:
 
haiti04022013575vmg
Port-au-Prince, January 2010 (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Writing at Ebony, France François says that the organization's "occupation in the time of cholera" is "despicable" and has harmed residents. 

Despicable: United Nations peacekeepers from Nepal infected a quake-stricken Haiti with cholera by polluting the Artibonite River with fecal matter from a faulty septic tank in 2010. To date, the cholera epidemic has killed over 8,000 Haitians, sickened approximately 649,000, and strained the island’s already-devastated public health care system to the breaking point.  At time of writing, over 6% of the Haitian population has been infected.

This month, the UN responded to claims brought against them by survivors by simply throwing the case out, claiming blanket immunity from any legal culpability or further action.  You didn't read that wrong. The UN responded to conclusive evidence that its troops introduced an infectious disease of epidemic proportions to a country with what amounts to a diplomatic shrug of their shoulders, completely abdicating its responsibility to the destitute survivors.

Due to pressure by the international community to offset a looming civil war that has yet to materialize, the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti (known as MINUSTAH) has cost the international community an astounding $1.5 billion (20% of that is paid for by the U.S. taxpayers) to "keep peace" since 2004. The thinly-veiled, paternalistic belief that Haiti will disintegrate into some sort of Heart of Darkness-esque chaos -- thus putting international donors and private investments at risk -- without the benevolent assistance of a foreign occupation is at the heart of the nine-year-old operation.

Read France François' entire piece at Ebony.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

The Root 100 People's Choice Awards  
Sept. 19 2014 8:34 AM