U.N. plans independent investigation of Haitian cholera

The United Nations plans to call for an independent commission to examine whether U.N. peacekeepers were the cause of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that has killed over 2,400 people.

Experts believe that there are important scientific reasons to determine the origin of the outbreak, such as determining how it can be combated, how it spreads and the dangers Haiti faces in the upcoming months and years, according to the Washington Post. Last month, anti-peacekeeper riots that may have been fueled by the U.N.’s previous reticence in speaking publically about the allegations broke out in Haiti.

“We are urging and we are calling for what we could call an international panel,” U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy said at a New York news conference, according to the Washington Post. “We are in discussions with (the U.N. World Health Organization) to find the best experts to be in a panel to be completely independent.”

Speculation about the peacekeepers as a source of the outbreak has been routinely denied by U.N. officials. The Associated Press, however, found that there were sanitation problems at the peacekeepers' Meille, Haiti, base and that the U.N. had been taking samples from behind the post to test for cholera content.

Le Roy said that peacekeepers throughout the world would “redouble our efforts” to make sure that all bases have the best health standards and sanitation possible, according to the Washington Post.