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Bill Clinton Says UN Peacekeeper Brought Cholera to Haiti, Didn't Know

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 7, updated -- After the UN has refused to answer complaints that it introduced cholera into Haiti, its Special Envoy Bill Clinton has now in essence admitted it, only disputing whether "the UN peacekeeper from South Asia... knew he was carrying that virus." Intrepid journalist has put the audio online, here from Minute 0:50.

Back on December 16, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq about

Inner City Press: a quote from Nigel Fisher, that “I don’t think the UN has ever denied the possibility”, and then it goes into brackets, “that they could have been at fault”. And some have said that the UN did deny exactly that. And I wanted to know, again, one, the update on how they are responding to this claim for compensation for the cholera, but two is, again Mr. Fisher has been there a long time, but is that accurate? Is the UN not denying that they may have been responsible?

Associate Spokesperson Haq: Well, first of all, on the claim: yes, the claim has been received and is currently being studied. And at this stage, I wouldn’t have any further comment on that. Regarding the second thing about responsibility for cholera, as you know, we take that matter very seriously. In January 2011 appointed a panel of independent scientific experts to study all available evidence in order to determine the cause of the cholera outbreak and epidemic. The panel determined that it was not possible to be conclusive about how cholera was introduced into Haiti. So, in other words what Mr. Fisher says does not necessarily contradict that. It is just that there was no conclusive way of determining how the cholera was introduced, according to the panel.

  And still the UN has not responded to the complaint filed and then buried with its Office of Legal Affairs under Patricia O'Brien. Now what?

  Typically, "a spokeswoman from the U.N. peacekeeping mission said she couldn't comment because she did not hear Clinton' s statement." Well here it is: audio here from Minute 0:50. Watch this site.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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