Weekly Links Round-Up: Aba MINUSTAH

MINUSTAH Protests

“Aba MINUSTAH” means “Down with MINUSTAH” (the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti) in Haitian Creole. Last week’s roundup covered the breaking story of four UN peacekeepers who bound and raped an 18-year old Haitian man. Outrage over this incident has snowballed into a wave of protests, which build on nearly 7 years of discontentment with the UN among many Haitians.

Given the significance of these developments, we devote most of today’s round-up to this issue.

In Haiti: Several hundred protesters marched in the capital (video), and were tear-gassed by the police. @KOFAVIV, a Haitian grassroots women’s group that provides support to victims of sexual violence, reported via Twitter that dozens of tent camp residents were forced from their homes by tear gas fired into the tents.

Picture from Port-au-Prince of tear gas being fired adjacent to tent camps. Photo Credit: Etant Dupain.

In New York: Protesters demonstrated in front of the UN building, demanding reparations for the UN-introduced cholera and for an immediate drawdown of MINUSTAH forces.

In Uruguay: Civil Society groups in Uruguay – the country whose peacekeepers committed the assault against Johnny Jean – also demonstrated for all 1,000 Uruguayan troops to be withdrawn from Haiti.

US Response: Bill Clinton articulated the US response to the protesters, saying, “MINUSTAH has done way more good (audio) than harm here,” and pleading for this not to be interpreted as reflecting poorly on MINUSTAH at large.

Rebuttal: Nicole Phillips of IJDH provides a thorough rebuttal to Clinton (audio) that details both long-standing legal concerns over MINUSTAH’s presence, as well as a number of specific concerns regarding MINUSTAH’s misconduct.

In other news, Martelly and Clinton formed a council to court foreign investors, which is an integral part of their plan to revitalize the low-wage export sector in Haiti.

Finally, for the first time since his return earlier this year, there’s reason to believe former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide will appear in public to deliver a speech. The anticipated location is at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, which is one of our partner groups.

5 Responses to Weekly Links Round-Up: Aba MINUSTAH

  1. Guens says:

    Great post!!!! You’re providing a lot of great information on your blog. Keep up the good job.

    Would you please add my website link to your blogroll?

    Post byhttp://www.haitiontheweb.com Haiti On The Web is the platform for all your advertising needs. Start adverising for free today.

  2. I know from my sister who has been in Haiti over 12 years & from several citizens of Haiti I met on my trip to Haiti in 2004 that the UN is highly dislike & distrusted as a peace-keeping force. They would much rather have the US Marines instead. I have also seen documentation for the UN dumping raw sewage into a central river that created an outbreak of cholera. The UN has to be replaced.

  3. Karen Ansara says:

    Nathan, thank you for this superb compilation of hot news from Haiti — a real sevice to us activists and funders.

  4. Nathan Yaffe says:

    Guens and Karen:

    Thanks so much for the kind remarks. It’s great to know that people find this resource useful.

    David:

    I find your comment about the US marines surprising, given the history of that relationship with the marines occupying Haiti from 1917 – 1934 and imposing an unwanted constitution on them. But then again, some already romanticize the Baby Doc days, so perhaps the negative associations of the marines have faded as well. Thanks for sharing that anecdote! Our post today goes into greater detail about rule of law issues related to the UN, which you may find interesting.

  5. Guens & Karen,

    You are undoubtly more informed about the overall feeling of the Haitian people about the Marines. I was in Haiti in 2004 when Aristide was removed. My opinion sample was very small. I led a seminar for leaders of the Christian Church. It was held at a mission compound by the name of Christianville. The leaders I visited with really hoped the Marines would be sent in that crisis instead of the UN which they felt was to weak to do anything of significance. It may have been more dislike of the UN than love for the Marines. Thanks for the reply. I am just learning about blogging.

    David

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