The Haiti Action Committee calls for an urgent response to another massacre in Cite Soleil by U.N. occupation troops, this time leaving at least 10 residents dead in this center of opposition to imperialist occupation.
Haiti Action Committee:
Urgent action alert
The UN's Christmas present to Haiti
A pre-dawn, heavy-caliber assault on
the men, women and children of Cite Soleil
In the early morning of Friday, December 22nd, starting
at approximately 3 a.m., 400 Brazilian-led UN occupation troops in armored
vehicles carried out a massive assault on the people of Cite Soleil,
laying siege yet again to the impoverished community. Eyewitness reports
said a wave of indiscriminate gunfire from heavy weapons began about
5 a.m. and continued for much of the day Friday an operation
on the scale of the July 6, 2005 UN massacre in Cite Soleil. Detonations
could be heard for miles, AHP reported.
Initial press accounts reported at least 40 casualties,
all civilians. According to community testimony, UN forces flew overhead
in helicopters and fired down into houses while other troops attacked
from the ground with Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs). People were
killed in their homes. UN troops from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Bolivia
took part in the all-day siege, backed by Haitian police. UN soldiers
once again targeted the Bois Neuf and Drouillard districts of Cite Soleil
scene of the July 6th massacre.
While reports are still coming in, this is what we do
know right now:
- A Reuters photographer "counted 9 bodies, and eyewitnesses
counted 4 others dead. As many as 30 people were wounded, humanitarian
workers said. All of the casualties are believed to be civilians."
- One Haitian human rights observer personally counted at least 17
dead bodies on the ground. This eyewitness also reported:
- A woman 6-months pregnant was shot in the stomach, killing the
- A man and his 8-year-old boy were in their beds when a helicopter
rained bullets into their house, wounding both.
- A man named Jacquelin Olivier was killed in his bed when bullets
pierced the walls. He leaves a wife and 3-year old boy.
- "The foreigners came shooting for hours without interruption
and killed 10 people," said Bois Neuf resident Johnny Claircidor,
quoted by Reuters. "They came here to terrorize the population,"
Cite Soleil resident Rose Martel told Reuters, referring to UN troops
and police. "I don't think they really killed any bandits, unless
they consider all of us as bandits."
- Agence Haitienne de Presse (AHP) said Cite Soleil "residents
report very serious property damage and there are concerns that a
critical water shortage may now develop because water cisterns and
pipes were punctured by the gunfire."
- "Local residents say the victims were ordinary citizens whose
only crime was that they live in the targeted neighborhood."
UN soldiers block Red Cross vehicles
from coming to aid the wounded According to Pierre
Alexis, the Haitian Red Cross coordinator for Cite Soleil, the UN soldiers
prevented the Haitian Red Cross from treating children injured during
the assault. Alexis said that many children were suffering serious injuries,
but that UN soldiers blocked Red Cross vehicles from entering Cite Soleil.
AHP reported that "residents were outraged that [UN] soldiers refused
to allow medical care...for people they had injured." Despite this,
St. Catherine's Hospital in Cite Soleil reported receiving many wounded.
Why this latest assault on the people
of Cite Soleil? UN occupation authorities in Haiti
claim it is part of their fight against "bandits" and "kidnappers,"
scapegoating the 300,000 residents of Cite Soleil. However, it is widely
known throughout Port-au-Prince that kidnappers are coming from all
sectors, including corrupt police officials and the wealthy. Does the
UN lead military assaults on affluent neighborhoods where kidnappers
are known to operate? Of course not.
A more plausible explanation comes from grassroots activists
in Cite Soleil. They argue that this is "punishment" for their ongoing
protests demanding an end to the UN occupation, restoration of full
democracy, return of President Aristide, and the release of political
prisoners. Additionally, the people of Cite Soleil have been vigorously
protesting the December 3rd municipal elections, in which there were
widespread allegations of fraud and many from the popular neighborhoods
were prevented from voting.
Just recently, on December 16th, the people of Cite Soleil
led a massive protest throughout Port-au-Prince marking the anniversary
of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's first election as president in 1990. [They
marched despite the UN shooting up the district the night before, in
what was widely viewed as a UN attempt to intimidate the populace on
the eve of the march.] In the week following the march, tensions continued
to escalate, culminating in the December 22nd assault by UN forces under
Enough is enough!
Join us in denouncing the ongoing UN
terror attacks on the Haitian people!
Now is the time for people in the US and throughout the
world to step up our solidarity efforts with the people of Haiti. Our
protests, calls and letters after the UN massacre in Cite Soleil on
July 6th, 2005 and the many UN attacks since then need
to be updated, expanded, intensified. Demand an end to the UN's repeated,
brutal assaults on this besieged community.
Email or fax the UN official below. Keep
- Denounce the massive, heavy-caliber assault on
the citizens of Cite Soleil by UN occupation forces on Dec. 22, 2006.
- Demand reparations for the victims and their families.
- Demand prosecution of the UN officials, commanders
and soldiers responsible for this latest UN atrocity in Haiti.
To: Edmond Mulet, UN Special Representative in Haiti
firstname.lastname@example.org fax 011-509-244-3512
To: Thierry Fagart, UN Human Rights chief in Haiti
email@example.com fax 011-509-244-9366
To: Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
firstname.lastname@example.org fax 011-41-22-917-9011
For more information: