[Marxism] D.N.: "UN Forces Open Fire on Poor Haitian Neighborhood": Is this what's in store for Lebanon?

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Thu Aug 31 10:10:33 MDT 2006


http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/31/144235

Thursday, August 31st, 2006
Eyewitnesses Account: UN Forces Open Fire on Poor Haitian Neighborhood


United Nations troops in Haiti opened fire last week on a poor
neighborhood outside of Cite Soleil. We show footage of the raid, speak
with a writer and activist who witnessed the raid and hear from the mother
of a nineteen year-old who was killed in the raid. [includes rush
transcript] Is life in Haiti improving under the new presidency of Rene
Preval? Well just last week, UN forces opened fire on a poor neighborhood
outside of Cite Soleil. An international delegation of activists was in
the area and witnessed what happened. They also caught much of the raid on
tape. In a moment we are going to play some of that tape. But first we are
joined in our firehouse studio by one of the witnesses. Ben Terrall is a
writer and activist. He just returned from Haiti this week.

    * Ben Terrall, writer and activist who just returned from Haiti. His
writings have appeared in CounterPunch, In These Times, the San
Francisco Chronicle and else where.

We go back to the day of the UN raid in Simon Pele. These are members of
the international delegation describing the scene:

    * Witnesses describe the UN raid as it is caught on tape.

Nineteen year-old Wildert Sanedy was shot and killed by UN troops in the
raid. The delegation caught up with his mother, Adacia Sanedy, four days
after the shooting. She spoke about her son.

    * Adacia Sanedy, son killed by UN troops in Haiti.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

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AMY GOODMAN: I want to stay on this issue of UN forces. Is life improving
under the new presidency of Rene Preval? Just last week UN forces opened
fire on a poor neighborhood outside Cite Soleil. An international
delegation was in the area and witnessed what happened. They also caught
some of the raid on tape. In a moment, we'll play a clip of that tape, but
first we're joined in our Firehouse studio by one of the witnesses, Ben
Terrall, who is a writer and activist, just returned from this delegation
in Haiti. Ben, would you set the scene for us about what we're going to
see?

BEN TERRALL: Well, I was with other members of this delegation on a road
in Simon Pele, which is adjacent to Cite Soleil. It joins it on one side.
And we saw two armored personnel carriers come in as we were there and go
down one street, and on a perpendicular street there were two other APCs.
And I personally saw five or six Brazilian UN troops run out of one of the
APCs into the neighborhood. And we went towards the APC, and we got
footage.

AMY GOODMAN: This footage is quite something. Let's go to the day of the
UN raid in Simon Pele. These are members of the international delegation
describing the scene.

      SASHA KRAMER: We're in Pele in Cite Soleil, and we just heard
several rounds of gunfire. We saw soldiers jump out of the tank and
run into the houses nearby. Sounds like they were shooting from
inside the houses.

      HAITIAN CIVILIAN: [translated] Last week, there were several groups
in Cite Soleil who said they would turn over their weapons. But
since, MINUSTAH has continued to shoot on the population. They have
not done that. As you can see right here, they are continuing to
shoot on the population.

      DELEGATION WITNESS: There’s the MINUSTAH soldiers firing from their
tank into a residential neighborhood. And the blue helmets signify
that it's UN soldiers. They're wearing the Brazilian uniforms.
They're getting instructions over the radio right now. They don't
seem to be at all deterred by our presence. More troops have moved
into position here, and it looks like a military operation underway.
The foot troops are going into the area -- the infantry troops are
going into the area. They're positioning themselves for some kind of
an attack in this civilian neighborhood.

      HAITIAN CIVILIAN: [translated] This is the same formula they used
when they killed Dred Wilme on the 6th of July last year. So they
are cutting off a street here using bulldozers, so people can't get
in and out. They say they are looking for bandits. But we do not
know exactly who they are looking for.

AMY GOODMAN: 19-year-old Wildert Sanedy was shot and killed by the UN
troops in the raid. The delegation caught up with his mother, Adacia
Sanedy, four days after the shooting. She talked about her son.

      ADACIA SANEDY: [translated] After I lost my son, I didn't even know
what to do. I couldn't even stand up. I felt like I lost him in a
very bad situation. My message to the UN is to thank them for the
son that they killed. They are always looking for bandits.
Apparently they didn't get them. At this time, any innocent
civilians just passing can get shot for nothing.

      AMY GOODMAN: Ben Terrall, there is a grieving mother. Explain what
she's saying, because maybe it misses something in translation, as
she says I thank the UN troops.

      BEN TERRALL: Well, I was going to ask her if she had a message to
the outside world, but we just sort of let her talk about the
experience. And she described how her son was fixing the radio on
the roof as the snipers came in. And she said, ‘This is my message
to the UN: I want to thank you for killing my son. You come in here.
I don't know why you're here. Civilians are killed all the time.’ So
this is part of a pattern. This operation --

      AMY GOODMAN: She’s being sarcastic.

      BEN TERRALL: Completely sarcastic. Yeah, she’s very obviously very
bitter about this. And her son did nothing to deserve this. He
wasn't connected to an armed group. He was just fixing a radio on
the roof. And this has been true throughout these operations. I
talked to an older man who was leaving the neighborhood, who said
there had been many people killed. We have him on tape, as we were
interviewing him. He said many people had been killed, and they
weren't connected to armed groups.

      So the UN, they’re -- basically the UN is operating without
oversight. They're operating with impunity. They're going in, and
they're just, quote/unquote, "securing" these neighborhoods at the
behest of the ultra-rightwing small elite in Haiti that want to kill
as many people as possible in these areas. They're not going after
death squads. They're not disarming the rightist-backed forces and
the holdover forces from the coup, which unfortunately are still
controlling the judiciary. They're controlling much of the Haitian
government.

[continues...]


Michael Friedman
Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior
City University of New York

Molecular Systematics Laboratory
Department of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street and Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Office: 212-313-8721





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