On the eve of the Security Council’s decision to closedown the MINUSTAH, the highly criticized mission it has maintained in Haiti since 2004, five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates call on the UN to ensure reparations and an end to impunity for the mass human rights violations committed by its troops.
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Shirin Ebadi and Betty Williams wrote to Secretary General Antònio Guterres to express their “deep concern about the total lack of justice and a comprehensive response of reparations for the direct victims of the MINUSTAH’s catastrophic actions… “.
“Thousands of women, children and girls have been raped or sexually exploited, many of them abandoned with children”, they recall in their letter. They also point out that a recent UN report recognizes that “the number of people killed due to the introduction of cholera by MINUSTAH troops is very likely to be three times as high as the official figure of 9,483 as of January 2017”.
“It is urgent and essential that the UN settle this debt to the people of Haiti”, the Nobel Laureates claim, “especially in the context of a worsening of the systemic crisis in that country … and with the evident failure of the MINUSTAH, in terms of the objectives set by the Security Council.”
They propose that the situation be reverted, wherein “a handful of powerful countries promote the creation of so-called peace missions, the financial cost of which are covered via mandatory quotas but reparations for their damages are left to eventual voluntary contributions.”
The Secretary General himself has denounced the near absence of funding for the program announced by the UN to compensate victims, eradicate cholera and achieve access to the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation for the 80% of the Haitian population that now lacks it. The cost could be covered by what has been paid for the MINUSTAH operations during just the last of its 13 years.
The five Nobel laureates also express their full agreement with the closure of MINUSTAH, on the understanding that “more than a peacekeeping mission, it has been a continuation of the hundred year long US occupation”, as many organizations in Haiti, Latin America, the Caribbean and around the world have insisted from the outset. A final petition letter, delivered by hundreds of entities to the UN and to the governments of Latin America, such as those of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, among others, that contribute troops to the MINUSTAH, also demands reparations for the damages caused.
“What Haiti needs is cooperation, not tutelage or much less occupation,” conclude the Nobel Laureates. “The people of Haiti have the right to respect and support … in their struggle to secure their sovereignty, their self-determination and fulfillment of all their rights, including control over their resources essential for their survival and buen vivir.” The credibility of the UN is also at stake, they say, after the disaster provoked and denial of any responsibility for six long years.
Download the letter here: https://haitinominustah.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/carta-al-sg-guterres-eng-final.pdf
Source – Click here (PDF).