UN chief urges nations to consider deploying forces to help Haiti
Updated: 11/02/2013 03:38:42 PM EST
Click photo to enlarge
A soldier, second from right, assists Haitian people during a protest against US intervention, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2013. The United Nations chief urged nations to consider deploying its peacekeepers to help Haiti. AP
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The United Nations secretary-general has asked nations to consider deploying peacekeepers to help the Haitian government as it struggles to contain a powerful earthquake and the world’s worst cholera outbreak in recent memory, calling the country’s situation “desperate.”
At the same time, he urged the world’s countries to avoid “the type of interventionist approach” that has contributed to destabilizing other parts of the world.
In an angry address to the U.N. general assembly in New York Thursday, Ban said the $11 billion in international aid pledged to Haiti had so far failed to alleviate the crisis and would result in further debt as the country’s government struggled to cope with a catastrophic loss of life and property.
“My appeal is also to the international community: The tragedy is only now beginning,” he said.
Ban has accused the United States of sending troops to Haiti by the “back door.” He said the U.S. military had entered Haiti to “disrupt its internal affairs and to support a counter-revolution.”
“The United States and other governments of the international community must not repeat the mistakes of the past,” Ban said.
He said that when the U.S. and several international humanitarian organizations intervened on behalf of Haiti in 2004, the “shelters we built protected Haiti from the worst dangers.”
“Yet, today, the death toll is 30 times higher than it was on that fateful day, and the situation in Haiti remains desperate,” he said, calling on world leaders to act with a “united vision.”
Haiti began to rebuild following the 2010 earthquake, which killed nearly 200,000 people and left another 100,000 injured. But the government in Port-au-Prince, which has been under siege by armed gangs and mobs since late last year, has not been able to manage the enormous influx of people.
Ban had just concluded