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After UN Claims "Yeoman Work" in Haiti, 19 in US Congress Differ to Ban Ki-moon on Cholera

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 1 -- The UN brought cholera to Haiti, denied all legal claims and now refuses questions. On May 29, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey told Inner City Press that in Haiti the UN is doing "yeoman's work."

Minutes before, Ban's chief of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous had explicitly refused to answer Inner City Press' questions about the UN's misdeeds, video here.

  But Del Buey insisted that "the media who have been briefed by [UN envoy] Nigel Fisher seem to think that we are doing quite a bit." And it's those compliant media whom Ladsous invites to private "conversation" about peacekeeping.

   Now 19 members of the US Congress have written to Ban Ki-moon about his non-response to the 5000 legal claims by victims of the UN Peacekeeping bringing cholera into Haiti.

  Since UN Peacekeeping boss Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to hold the post, won't answer, we'll have to ask Ban's spokesperson's office. [We have, watch this site.] They didn't believe Doctors Without Borders - but will they respond to these US Congress members as they jump to the tune of some others?

  The letter concluded, "We therefore urge you to use your office and your influence to ensure that the United Nations takes responsibility for the introduction of cholera into Haiti... and we look forward to your response."

Here's from the UN's May 29 noon briefing transcript:

Inner City Press: the Secretary-General announced this big plan for Haiti for cholera, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. And recently, Médecins Sans Frontières, a pretty respected medical group, has said that the program has had absolutely no effect on the ground, they have been very critical of it. Mr. McLean, on the record, has said he has gone back and forth and has seen absolutely zero follow-through from the UN. What’s the UN’s response, to the legal claims of the people that got cholera, and that the other programme that was announced has had no effect? And, I also wanted to ask you, you just witnessed Mr. Ladsous refusing to answer on the Minova rape follow-up. I wanted to know, is this acceptable to the Secretary-General?

Deputy Spokesperson: Matthew, we’re not going to get involved in your particular problem with Ladsous.

Inner City Press: It’s not a particular problem; he works for Ban Ki-moon.

Deputy Spokesperson: With respect to Haiti… with respect to Haiti, MINUSTAH [United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti] is doing yeoman’s work in trying to bring fresh water, in trying to bring new latrines and trying to bring water purification systems and bringing cholera vaccinations to people. I have seen the reports; we don’t believe the reports. We believe our people. And we know that Nigel Fisher in Haiti has been briefing the media, and that the media who have been briefed by Nigel Fisher seem to think that we are doing quite a bit.

Inner City Press: MSF is just wrong on this?

Deputy Spokesperson: Sorry?

Inner City Press: They, MSF, Médecins Sans Frontières, is wrong? They are just…?

Deputy Spokesperson: I’m not going to comment on what Médecins Sans Frontières has; everyone has their own point of view, and our point of view, we’re doing an awful lot to mitigate the effects of cholera in Haiti.

Inner City Press: Will the Secretary-General…?

Deputy Spokesperson: One more question.

Inner City Press: Would Secretary-General accept Mr. Ladsous not answering any questions about Haiti? Just for example, I’m asking you.

Deputy Spokesperson: Matthew, have a good afternoon, thank you.

  The UN's Department of Public Information, currently intent along with some of the compliant media cited above on eliminating media workspace in front of the UN Security Council that has exists for years, in the transcript above "cleaned up" at least two statements by Ban's spokesman Del Buey.

  Del Buey called the issue of Ladsous refusing to answer "personal," not "particular" as later inserted. And Del Buey initially called Nigel Fischer Mr Nigel "Farmer." If it's fine to clean up the second mis-statement, why leave in all kind of "ah's" and pauses in the questions, to try to make them illegible? This is today's UN. Watch this site.

The 19 members of Congress who wrote to Ban Ki-moon include: Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Yvette D. Clarke, Frederica S. Wilson, Jan Schakowsky, John Conyers, Jr., Alcee L. Hastings, Charles B. Rangel, Corrine Brown, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Bobby L. Rush, Wm. Lacy Clay, Raúl M. Grijalva, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, John Lewis, Gregory W. Meeks, Donna F. Edwards, Keith Ellison and Carolyn B. Maloney.

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