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Earthquake Stricken Haitians Victimized by World Indifference

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Earthquake Stricken Haitians Victimized by World Indifference - by Stephen Lendman

Over 10 months post-quake, Haitian suffering continues, victimized by world indifference, contempt, and paralysis, a new Refugees International (RI) report saying they're "Still Trapped in the Emergency Phase."

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Under appalling conditions, camp inhabitants face evictions, violence, arbitrarily appointed absentee camp managers, and lack of concern for their needs, including by UN personnel. They're trained to know better and act responsibly, or they should be under all emergency circumstances they face.

Committed personnel, more resources, and direct action are needed, what hasn't been forthcoming so far. Instead, camps remain squalid, ill-served, and overcrowded under "appalling standards of living." Moreover, landowners threaten evictions, and they're happening. However, with nowhere to go, those displaced end up crammed into other camps or in new ones formed on their own.

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Despite egregious conditions, "the UN coordination system (isn't) prioritizing activities" to help. The current Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), in fact, also serves as MINUSTAH Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative, effectively compromising his other mission.

MINUSTAH Blue Helmets occupy Haiti repressively. Established by Security Council vote on April 30, 2004, two months after the US-led coup ousting President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, it's mission was flawed from inception. Its mandate in principle was to bring peace and stability. In fact, it was the first time ever to enforce a coup against a democratically elected president instead of backing his right to return.

MINUSTAH mandates are renewed annually despite public opposition. In an October 15 press release, 12 Haitian Civil Society Organizations and earthquake survivors announced protest activities against the latest one, staging sit-ins at the UN's logistical base near Haiti's international airport. They want aid, not Blue Helmet and police repression. More demonstrations are planned, including efforts to mobilize camp survivors to become engaged in the struggle for what only mass outrage and activism can bring.

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In the meantime, effective assistance and safety concerns aren't addressed, spotty makeshift ones instead handled by lower-level indifferent staff. As a result, coordination has been dysfunctional leaving Haitians on their own with little help.

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