Haiti: video implicates UN troops in sex abuse

As of Sept. 2 it appeared that some of the 1,100 Uruguayan troops in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were about to be repatriated because of accusations of sex abuse at a base in the southern coastal town of Port-Salut. Eliane Nabaa, who handles communication and information for the United Nations military and police occupation force in Haiti, told the Haitian internet news service AlterPresse on Sept. 1 that repatriation was a possibility. On Sept. 2 an Uruguayan website said the soldiers would be sent home in the coming week.

A Port-Salut organization made the accusations on Aug. 11, but the Uruguayan military quickly dismissed them. Apparently the decision to act on the charges followed the appearance of a cell phone video showing four MINUSTAH soldiers forcing an 18-year-old Haitian youth on to a bed. The video was posted on the ABC News website on Sept. 2. According to the youth, the soldiers beat him and sexually molested him in the incident, which occurred in July. A medical certificate filed in a Haitian court confirms that he was beaten and suffered injuries consistent with sexual assault.

Under MINUSTAH’s agreement with Haiti, the force’s troops can only be disciplined and tried by their home country. (AlterPresse, ABC News, Sept. 2)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 4.

See our last post on Haiti.