Nepal says peacekeepers not responsible for Haiti cholera outbreak
Nov 16, 2010, 13:28 GMT
Kathmandu - The Nepalese Army on Tuesday refuted charges that its peacekeepers were responsible for a cholera outbreak in Haiti, a day after they were involved in clashes with demonstrators there.
The protests broke out in Cap Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city, against the government's handling of the rapidly escalating outbreak, which has claimed 1,000 lives. Some demonstrators also blamed the Nepalese troops of bringing the disease to their country.
One person was killed and at least 12 people, including six Nepalese soldiers, were injured in clashes resulting from the protests, in which thousands of people participated in northern Haiti. The fatality resulted when a UN peacekeeper fired at a protestor in self-defence, the UN said.
'The UN has already issued a press release saying the Nepalese forces were not responsible for the cholera outbreak after conducting a series of tests,' army spokesman Ramindra Chettri said.
He added that the attack was not targeted at Nepalese peacekeepers alone but at the UN in general.
'There were multiple causes for the attack, one of them being the cholera outbreak,' he said.
'UN peace keepers as well as Haitian national police have beefed up security following the attack,' Chettri said.
He said awareness campaigns broadcast on local radio stations were being run in Haiti to calm people down and tell them the UN peacekeepers were not responsible.
More than 1,000 Nepalese soldiers are stationed in Haiti as part of the UN peacekeeping mission.
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