UN Troops Attack Hospital in Haiti

The following is excerpted from an article in HaitiAction.net, January 20, 2006.

It was about 11 p.m. at St. Catherine's Hospital in Cite Soleil on Wednesday night as exhausted doctors and nurses were treating numerous victims of gunshots wounds and filling out paperwork for the four corpses of the unfortunate ones whose lives they could not save.

"There had been a rush of gunshot victims and those who would talk told us it was the result of the U.N. opening fire on them. All of a sudden we heard loud booms and glass breaking and then we realized the hospital was being fired upon. At first we couldn't tell where it was coming from but then we saw the tracers coming from the direction of the old Boulos market that is now an armed encampment for the Jordanians in Cite Soleil. There was panic as a bullet struck a window in the Children's Ward and everyone went diving for cover," explained a hospital worker who asked to remain anonymous. . . .

Jeanette Lager, a 38 year-old mother clutching her ailing 2 month-old son, described the attack, "My friends who were on the street said they saw the U.N. firing at the hospital. I was inside with my sick baby when all of sudden glass started breaking and we could hear the gunfire from across the road where the U.N. controls the street. Look at the size of the bullet holes, look at the damage they caused. These were not small weapons. The U.N. is killing us in the streets and now they are attacking the only hospital we have in Cite Soleil. It's criminal and it must be stopped."

Benis Benjamin, whose 8 year-old daughter Valancia was shot in their home by U.N. forces the same night, described his fear as gunfire struck the hospital. "My little girl was shot in our home by MINUSTAH [the U.N. military forces] last night and I had to rush her here to save her life. The only reason she is alive is because of this hospital. Then I had to worry she might be a killed a second time when they began firing on the hospital. Thank God the hospital is still here," Mr. Benjamin stated....

HaitiAction.net also reports that on the same day, January 20, Jordanian forces in Cite Soleil attempted to block the access of journalists into another area of the community where more reported killings of unarmed civilians occurred yesterday. After finding another route around the Jordanians, journalists saw evidence of at least two more persons residents said were gunned down by MINUSTAH forces Thursday morning. John Erickson's body lay less than 30 feet from a wide street named Bwa Neuf that is patrolled by Jordanian soldiers in Armored Personnel Vehicles 24-hours a day. Residents claimed he was shot along with several others at about 9 a.m. when gunfire erupted from U.N. forces.

Another man, known by his neighbors only as "Ti Blan", lies in a pool of blood and was the apparent victim of a single shot that ripped into his chest. All of those interviewed at the scene repeated several times that the victims were unarmed at the time U.N. forces opened fire.

More than 9,000 U.S. and U.N. troops have been occupying Haiti since March 2004, when a U.S. invasion overthrew the elected government and imposed a pro-U.S. puppet regime.