[News] UN massacre in Haiti, demands an end to the killing

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Mon Jul 11 08:38:07 EDT 2005



Haiti Action Committee condemns UN massacre in Haiti, demands an end to the 
killing

July 10

The Haiti Action Committee today condemned a July 6 massacre of Haitian 
civilians in Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince carried out by UN "peacekeepers".

Dave Welsh, a delegate with the San Francisco Labor Council who was in 
Haiti as part of a labor/human rights delegation, said, "This full-blown 
military attack on a densely-populated neighborhood, which multiple sources 
confirm killed at least 23 people, is a crime." Published estimates 
indicate that upwards of 50 may have been killed and an indeterminate 
number wounded, and that more than 300 heavily armed UN troops took part in 
the assault on the neighborhood.

The attack took place in Cite Soleil, an extremely poor area that is 
staunchly supportive of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide 
was forced from office by the U.S. embassy in collusion with U.S.-backed 
paramilitaries on February 29, 2004 and is now in exile in South Africa.

Seth Donnelly, a California teacher with the same delegation, visited the 
scene of the massacre and spoke to traumatized survivors of the attack. 
"This operation started early Wednesday morning at 3am, with Jordanian and 
other troops on foot and in tanks and helicopters with machine gun turrets. 
It was a full-scale attack. Survivors told us that when they saw UN troops 
they felt that, unlike Haitian police, they would not fire on civilians, 
but that the 'peacekeepers' soon began shooting into houses and at civilians. "

The Labor/Human Rights Delegation from the United States, sponsored by the 
San Francisco Labor Council, had been in Haiti since late June to attend 
the Congress of the Confederation of Haitian Workers (CTH), the country's 
largest labor organization, and met with hundreds of Haitian workers, 
farmers and professionals, interviewing scores of them about the current 
labor and human rights crisis in Haiti.

Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Committee noted, "MINUSTAH [The 
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti] apologized to the Haitian 
police for its delayed arrival on the scene of an incident where two 
Haitian police officers were killed on May 22, but it has never once 
apologized for any of the many documented instances where UN troops killed 
Haitian civilians. This latest attack, in which people in their homes and 
on the way to work were killed for no reason, is beyond the pale. Such 
atrocities must not be accepted by the international community. Those 
responsible for these killings of civilians must be brought to trial."

Labossiere concluded that the U.S.Embassy should immediately refrain from 
more statements which provide a "green light" for slaughter of civilians. 
"By recently calling grassroots activists 'gang members' and 'terrorists', 
U.S. Ambassador James Foley sent a signal that it's open season on 
civilians. This is especially Orwellian, since the real terrorists in Haiti 
are the UN troops, the Haitian police and the paramilitaries who are 
killing civilians. Under its most recent mandate, the UN has supervision of 
the Haitian police. But instead of stopping the killing of civilians, the 
UN is stepping up the slaughter," said Labossiere.



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