A group of U.S. Congress members demanded on Friday that the United Nations take responsibility for the cholera outbreak that hit the nation of Haiti beginning in 2010. The U.N. has so far not implicated itself in the incident.
The 104 Democratic Congress members allege that the U.N.'s presence in Haiti inadvertently led to a devastating outbreak of cholera in the country that has already killed more than 7,000 people. They sent a letter to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, arguing that the U.N. should "confront and ultimately eliminate" the cholera outbreak, according to the BBC.
U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal are widely suspected of carrying the bacteria with them to a base in the Haitian town of Meille in October 2010. The poorly regulated disposal of human waste there led to an outbreak that spread rapidly along the Latem River, filtering into several other towns across the country.
The incident sparked protests across the country, especially since it followed in the heels of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010. After a rush of initial aid funding following the quake, assistance has dropped off, and aid oversight has been poorly implemented.
The continued displacement of thousands of Haitians, the slow progression of repairs in the demolished capital city of Port-au-Prince and the outbreak of cholera have many Haitians losing faith in the efficacy of international assistance.
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