The Statesman: UN has immunity from Haiti cholera lawsuit: USA

haiticholera_wideA New York court should grant the United Nations immunity from legal action brought by victims of a cholera outbreak in post-earthquake Haiti that killed thousands, US officials have said.

The petition demanding compensation was filed last year on behalf of a sample group of five Haitians and said at least 8,300 people had died from cholera and a further 679,000 others had fallen ill since the outbreak began in October 2010.

There had been no cholera in Haiti for at least 150 years until it was allegedly introduced to the Caribbean nation by Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent there in the wake of the devastating earthquake in January 2010.

State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday the US administration had filed a statement to the court “asserting that the United Nations, the United Nations stabilisation mission in Haiti, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and assistant secretary-general for UN peacekeeping operations are immune from suit in this case.”

The brief, which was filed by the department of justice, had met a yesterday deadline as the New York district court decides whether the case can proceed. via The Statesman


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