Haiti cholera linked to UN troops

A new report by French disease expert ties UN troops to the cholera outbreak, contradicting repeated denials by the UN.

     
    More than 2,000 people have been killed in the epidemic and nearly 100,000 people have been infected so far

    There is strong evidence linking UN peacekeepers to a cholera outbreak in Haiti that has killed thousands of people, according to a French disease expert.

    Renaud Piarroux says in a report made public on Tuesday that the most likely explanation for the outbreak is that Haiti's Artibonite River was contaminated by a base of UN troops from Nepal.

    The epidemiologist conducted his research on behalf of the French and Haitian governments.

    Cholera was detected in Haiti late October. More than 2,000 people have been killed in the epidemic and nearly 100,000 people have been infected so far.

    The UN has consistently denied that its peacekeepers were to blame for the outbreak, despite claims that it started in the Nepalese peacekeepers' camp at Mirebalais in central Haiti.

    On Tuesday, the UN again said that there is still no conclusive proof on the source of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The UN mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, "has neither accepted nor dismissed [the expert's] findings," Martin Nersirky, a spokesperson for the UN, said.

    "This is one report among many, which of course the United Nations has taken very seriously," he added.

    "The mission has conducted a number of tests, water inside the military camp, between the camp and the river itself and all of those results have proven negative."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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