THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

U.N. denies its peacekeeping force caused Haitian cholera outbreak

The United Nations recently used its sovereign immunity to reject a complaint that a U.N. peacekeeping force caused an epidemic of cholera in Haiti that killed more than 8,600 Haitians and sickened more than 860,000.

On February 21, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Haitian President Michael Martelly that the U.N. would reject the complaint after insisting that its fault was not clearly established. The complaint filed by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux filed the complaint, which claimed that U.N. troops from Nepal dumped excrement into the Meye River and caused the epidemic, Workers.org reports.

In October, Daniele Lantagne, a U.S. cholera specialist, said scientific data showed that the most likely source of the outbreak was the U.N. Nepalese peacekeepers, according to BBC.

"We can now say that the most likely source of the introduction of cholera into Haiti was someone infected with the Nepal strain of cholera and associated with the United Nations Mirabalais camp," Lantagne said, BBC reports.

A previous report in 2011 stressed that the outbreak was not the fault of any group or individual.

Prior to the epidemic, which started in late 2010, Haiti had no recorded cases of cholera going back for two centuries, according to Workers.org.