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To UN Expert on Cholera in Haiti, UN Won't Respond, MSF Quiet Too

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 24 -- Even to a UN expert's repeated call for reparations for cholera in Haiti, the UN says it doesn't have to respond; usually outspoken group Medecins Sans Frontieres on July 24 had no comment either. Video here.

 A week after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ended his trip to Haiti and Santo Domingo after taking a single question about the UN bringing cholera to the island, the UN's independent expert Gustavo Gallon had this to say, in his statement, which Inner City Press on July 23 put online here:

As for cholera, the independent expert noted that the Secretary General of the United Nations visited the country and traveled on 14 July to the Central Plateau, where cholera first appeared. He launched a sanitation campaign there. I hope that this visit will contribute to the implementation of the recommendation I made in my report of March 2014 on the necessity of creating a reparations commission for the victims of cholera, in order to allow the evaluation of damages, corresponding compensation or idemnification, the identification of those responsible, the stopping of the epidemic and other measures. As Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, I take this opportunity to reiterate this recommendation.

   On July 24, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq what the UN's response is. "We don't have to make any comment on this."

  Later on July 24, Inner City Press asked a panel from MSF, active in Haiti, about the UN's role in cholera. There was a looooong silence, video here; MSF treats the victims but, it is said, doesn't address how cholera got there. And thus the UN continues UNaccountable.

  Back on July 16, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesperson Haq about Ban dodging questions on cholera, and about the court ruling that the state of Netherlands is liable for the deaths of 300 Bosniaks in Srebrenica. Video here and embedded below.

 Inner City Press asked Haq to comment, in the context of the more than 8000 deaths in Haiti, on this sentence: "there is a growing acceptance that an individual state can be held liable for deaths in a UN-mandated operation."

  Haq said, we are still studying it. But he has said nothing in the week since. And on July 23, based on Inner City Press' style of questioning or legal focus in questions, Haq said "You are not entitled to be at the noon briefing," video here.


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