Claims No More Tear Gas, Dodging Wyclef Jean, Killings
by Haitian Police
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 1 -- Of the UN's use of tear gas in Haiti, the UN
first denied it, then called it routine and regulated. Now, with its
partner Wyclef Jean saying he will speak to Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon about this "unacceptable" practice, the UN is
at once acknowledging past use and saying it won't happen in the
at the February 1 noon briefing asked top Haiti envoy Edmond Mulet
and his new adviser Michele Montas about Wyclef Jean's protest of
the UN. Video here,
from Minute 25:51.
answered that in
the "first days" after the earthquake, there were "some
of this incidents."
been taken care of," he said. "That is not happening
anymore." This was tied, as he presented it, not to any swearing
off of pepper spray, but due to what he called the instant success of
the World Food Program's shift to distributing food coupons rather
than food, only to women. He was asked about reports of some
distributions breaking down this very day.
Ki-moon traveled to Haiti with Wyclef Jean in March 2009, accompanied
by Bill Clinton. What does he think of the UN's use of tear gas?
National Police, with whom the UN proudly collaborates, are known to
and killed a number of "scavengers," and even
Press asked Mulet about this. Mulet said the
UN has "heard reports," acknowledged that "maybe
elements of the HNP" shot at "looters." Video here,
from Minute 27:37.
had urged journalists not to report on "looters."
UN's Ban, Wyclef Jean and Bill Clinton,
earlier - tear gas answers not shown
term is deployed in connection with killings by the UN's partner the
Haitian National Police. Meanwhile, there are reports of the HNP
committing summary executions. Where is the UN's Special Rapporteur
on executions, Philip Alston, when you need him? Mulet claimed the UN
is "investigating" cases of killings by the HNP. Inner
City Press was allowed no follow up questions at the briefing, nor
any questions to UNDP's coordinator. Watch this site.
* * *
Haiti, UN of Two Minds on China, No Guidance on Bullets, Florida
Football Games Blocking Medical Flights
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 29 -- Two days after the UN's spokesman in Haiti
David Wimhurst denied knowing about UN Peacekeepers shooting even
rubber bullets to control crowds of aid seekers, detailed reports
emerged of "UN troops" shooting 50 caliber guns over
asked the UN's humanitarian coordinator John Holmes about these
reports, and what the UN considers the best practice in crowd control
while aid is distributed. "There is no set standard in the
humanitarian lexicon," Holmes said, adding that the main focus
is that nobody gets hurt. Video here,
from Minute 26:03.
okay? Tear gas? Electrified fences? Are these decision left up to
each country's contingent adopting the UN's blue helmets in Haiti,
including a battalion from Sri Lanka, accused of war crimes?
in the statements of David Wimhurst and Holmes was also raised but
not resolved. On January 27, Wimhurst confirmed to the press that the
Chinese search and rescue team, once it dug out the Chinese diplomats
from the wreckage of the UN's rented Hotel Christopher, left the
Chinese diplomats told Inner City Press to check with John Holmes,
who they cited as on record about additional Chinese work in Haiti --
a country with whose government China has no diplomatic relations,
since Haiti recognized Taiwan.
asked Holmes to square this with what Mr. Wimhurt said. "I don't
know what to add," Holmes said. "That's my understanding,
the Chinese information as well." But was he a witness? Video here,
from Minute 15:34.
UN's Holmes, UNDP's Helen Clark behind:
paying $5 or just $3 a day in Haiti?
in Florida reports
that the flights evacuated injured Haitians to Florida have
stopped, due to the upcoming Super Bowl and Pro Bowl of the
Football League. Inner City Press asked Holmes about this. "I
have no idea," he said. "Ask the Americans."
reporter whispered, "Touchdown!" -- referring also to
Holmes "touchdown" space in the UN compound, now that
others in his office have been moved full time to Madison Avenue.
Football is only simulated war. But the UN in Haiti is shooting with
real bullets. Watch this site.