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STATES CHRONICLE – Over the past six years, the United Nations was requested by Haitian activists to apologize for playing a major role in the Haiti cholera outbreak. Although most people didn’t expect the U.N. to apologize, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon shocked everyone on Thursday when he announced that the organization is deeply sorry for being a part of the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
Haitian activists filled many legal claims against the United Nations, organized street protests, and developed many social media campaigns to make the organization’s officials admit that they were partially responsible for the tragedy in Haiti.
The activists hailed Ban Ki-moon’s announcement as he promised that the U.N. would spend $400 million to put an end to the cholera outbreak and compensate every victim. According to the Secretary-General, there is solid proof that the U.N.’s peacekeeping personnel represented the source of the cholera outbreak.
More precisely, the bacterium was brought by Nepalese peacekeepers. A local water supply has been contaminated after mixing with some of the water from the toilets.
Many activists are optimistic, especially Brian Concannon, one of the most important leaders of the Haiti’s legal campaign which aimed to oblige the U.N. officials to help the victims of the cholera outbreak by repairing their homes.
The U.N. peacekeepers accidentally brought the disease to the Caribbean nation in 2010, immediately after the earthquake. The cholera outbreak has killed approximately 9,000 people, while other 800,000 have been infected.
Also, it is far from being over, as many people are still at risk of contracting the bacteria. Before 2010, there had been more than a few decades since no other case had been reported. Ban Ki-moon deeply apologized for what happened in Haiti and promised that the U.N. would do its best to support the Haitian people.
Concannon underlines that the fight must continue in order to make sure that the promises will be fulfilled. Although the U.N. hasn’t admitted that it played a major role in facilitating the spread of the cholera outbreak in Haiti, the Haitian activists appreciated Ban Ki-moon’s public apology.
According to Junia Barreau, one of the Haitian activists in Montreal, the victims asked for a sincere apology, and that is why Ban Ki-moon’s initiative was appreciated. She also sayd that the victims deserve the U.N.’s attention.