Nov 16, 2010
Protesters in Haiti have attacked UN peacekeepers over a suspicion that Nepalese soldiers brought the cholera epidemic which has swept the country and killed 1,000 people. Crowds in two northern towns hurled rocks, set up burning barricades and blocked roads to protest against the foreign troops and the government’s response to the crisis, rattling authorities and the UN in the runup to a 28 November election.
Cap-Haitien, the country’s second city, was this morning cut off from the rest of Haiti after a day of rioting shut its roads and airport and left more than a dozen people wounded. Clashes in the town of Hinche injured seven Nepalese peacekeepers, according to local radio.
The flare-ups followed mounting anger and fear over a disease which many blame on effluent from a base used by Nepalese troops in the Artibonite valley, where the outbreak began three weeks ago.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that the strain, which has infected more than 15,000 people and reached all 10 departments, resembled one from south Asia. Haiti’s first epidemic in living memory began in the valley a week after the Nepalese arrived.