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As UN Deploys in front of Haiti Palace, 50 Arrested, Answers Deferred

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 18 -- With the UN Mission in Haiti still stonewalling on cholera and back and forth about assisting the government's crack down on wannabe soldier protesters, Inner City Press on Friday asked the UN about its presence in front of the palace in Port of Prince: "what is MINUSTAH doing in front of the palace in Port of Prince? There are reports of tear gas."

  Hours later the following arrived:

Subject: Your emailed question on Haiti
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, May 18, 2012 at 7:54 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

MINUSTAH, the UN Mission in Haiti, has informed us that the Haitian Government has repeatedly stated that it will not tolerate illegal activities, such as people illegally carrying weapons or illegal training camps.

The Mission is aware that some operations are ongoing to put an end to these illegal activities and that up to 50 people were arrested by the Haitian National Police.

So far these operations are ongoing, so the Mission will be able to provide additional information in light of further developments.

MINUSTAH acts in agreement and in close coordination with the Government in support of the Rule of Law, and state institutions.

  There are reports of the use of tear gas, while the head of MINUSTAH, at least earlier in the month, said the UN would only use force if fired on or if there's a serious problem. How serious is this? The UN has said that it will say. Watch this site.

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