On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014 - celebrated on March 8 around the world - UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka stresses that…
Few people dispute that the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, is culpable for introducing the devastating cholera epidemic to that country. Yet the U.N. continues to evade responsibility. The U.S. government must decide Friday whether to support the victims’ right to their day in court or bolster the U.N.’s impunity. The U.S. is authorized by law to file a statement of interest with the court outlining its position, as it has done in previous cases.
The deadly outbreak first hit Haiti in October 2010, ten months after a calamitous earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and ravaged the country’s already crumbling infrastructure. The diarrheal disease, which had not been seen in Haiti in at least a century, infected hundreds of thousands within months. Haiti now hosts the world’s largest cholera epidemic: Between 2010 and 2012, cholera cases there represented half of the total reported to the World Health Organization. To date, 8,500 people have died and more than 700,000 have been sickened by the waterborne pathogen. By the U.N.’s own estimate, another 2,000 Haitians may die from cholera in 2014.
The U.N.’s liability has been independently verified. At least 10 studies, including a comprehensive report by Yale University’s Law School and School of Public Health, have confirmed the U.N.’s responsibility for the outbreak. “By causing the epidemic and then refusing to provide redress to those affected, the U.N. has breached its commitments to the Government of Haiti, its obligations under international law, and principles of humanitarian relief,” the Yale report said.
(Photo: Rodrigo Abd/AP)
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Historian, Basil Davidson visited the Arthur R. Ashe Jr., Foreign Policy Library in Washington D.C. in February 1994 to give a lecture on his experiences in Africa.
Listen to the lecture here.
About Basil Davidson: English born historian and journalist with particular expertise on pre-colonial Africa. He campaigned for Africa’s freedom from colonial rule and the oppression of apartheid.
Preview and download the podcast Africa Now - TransAfrica on iTunes. Read episode descriptions and customer reviews.
Lupita Nyong’o’s Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” has raised hopes of a much-needed boost to Kenya’s fledgling entertainment industry.