UN winds up its Haiti mission with a pitiful epitaph: It brought cholera to the island

by Rashmee

Posted on October 9, 2017


  On Friday (Oct 6) the UN wound up MINUSTAH, its 13-year-old peacekeeping mission in Haiti, having changed it forever but necessarily in the way intended. The last 100 UN troops leave soon and the mission officially ends on October 15. So, what did it accomplish? The unkindest but truest epitaph for MINUSTAH is that … Continue reading “UN winds up its Haiti mission with a pitiful epitaph: It brought cholera to the island”

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Spot the difference: Haitians believe God kills, not germs. For Americans, it’s God not guns

by Rashmee

Posted on October 4, 2017


  Before I went to Haiti, my Kreyol instructor gave our class a valuable lesson in Haitian stoicism, immutability, and yes, ill-logic. “Mikwòb pa touye Ayisyen, that’s what many Haitians believe,” he said. “Be prepared.” What he meant was that a certain section of Haitian society was unwilling to believe that the cholera virus could kill and that … Continue reading “Spot the difference: Haitians believe God kills, not germs. For Americans, it’s God not guns”

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Humanity vs Impunity. Will the UN now compensate Haiti’s cholera victims?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 20, 2016


I was in Haiti in February 2013, when the United Nations took the unusual decision to invoke legal immunity as a way of dealing with claims for compensation from 5,000 victims of the Haiti cholera epidemic. Click here for the story I wrote for The Guardian at the time. It was a straight up-and-down report on the … Continue reading “Humanity vs Impunity. Will the UN now compensate Haiti’s cholera victims?”

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Hillary is stuck in a bad news loop that’s feeding voraciously off itself

by Rashmee

Posted on September 20, 2015


Here’s the news about Hillary Clinton. (P.S.: You knew it already. It’s not really news.) Hillary Clinton is stuck in a so-called “poll-deflating feedback loop”. According to David Weigel of The Washington Post, voters are hearing about only three types of Clinton stories, all of them with negative implications for her. First, stories about the … Continue reading “Hillary is stuck in a bad news loop that’s feeding voraciously off itself”

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Nepal & Haiti were once part of different community of sorrow: cholera

by Rashmee

Posted on April 28, 2015


Till Saturday’s earthquake, the only time the words “Haiti” and “Nepal” appeared in one sentence, was in reference to the cholera epidemic unwittingly started by Nepalese United Nations peacekeepers stationed in Haiti. It seemed an excessively cruel twist to a pathetic story – dirt-poor Haiti, leveled by a devastating earthquake in January 2010, infected by … Continue reading “Nepal & Haiti were once part of different community of sorrow: cholera”

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Haiti’s govt still mum on UN cholera decision

by Rashmee

Posted on February 25, 2013


They’re opening two new buildings at the health ministry in Port au Prince today but it’s unclear if anyone at the Ministry will open up enough to speak frankly about the United Nations’ refusal to pay compensation to cholera victims. In the four days since UN secretary-general Ban ki Moon rang Haiti’s President Martelly with … Continue reading “Haiti’s govt still mum on UN cholera decision”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK