Haiti: UN Peacekeepers Claim Students Attacked, University Officials Say Provocation
- Wednesday, June 20, 2012 5:28 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - The UN peacekeeping mission denied on Wednesday that Brazilian peacekeepers tried to violate the space of the State University on June 15, instead saying that it was students who attacked its soldiers throwing rocks and bottles.
The Head of Communications for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, Eliane Nabaa denied any information believing that peacekeepers tried to enter the School of Humanities (FASCH) at the State University of Haiti.
Eliane Nabaa said that peacekeepers on Christophe Avenue in Port-au-Prince were on patrol and that "people friendly spaces are inviolable including the University..."
Rather, Nabaa said that "the Brazilian soldiers that were conducting the routine patrol were attacked, for unknown reasons, with stones and broken bottles by members of the public and students."
The windshields of vehicles were smashed and a slight injury was recorded, according to Ms. Nabaa who stressed that peacekeepers were forced, she said, to fire into the air, rubber bullets to gain control of the situation.
But, officials at the university said, a bullet entered the door to the inside of the FASCG. Which caused a great panic.
Following the incidents of Friday, more informed voices have been raised to denounce what they called a provocation by MINUSTAH soldiers.
In a written statement issued June 18, the coordinator of the Faculty of Humanities required explanations and clarifications, noting that three times, the peacekeepers have tried to enter the inviolable space of the university, thus disrupting the midterm exams and a joint meeting which was held there which cause its adjournment.
The Rector of the State University of Haiti (EUH), Jean Vernet Henry, also saw in the act of peacekeepers, a provocation.
"It's a challenge because, besides the fact that the university area is and remains inviolable, nothing justified the presence of soldiers at the entrance of an institution such as the FASCH, which is at the end of a lane of a residential area," said Mr. Henry, who also asked students to remain calm and not give in to provocations.
The information secretary of the National Union of Haitians Professors (UNNOH), John Willy Belfleur , who recalled that the peacekeepers were not at their first attempt in this form of violation of the rights of Haitian citizens and institutions of the country, noted that in 2009 students had been beaten, arrested and humiliated within the UEH's National School of Arts (ENARTS), Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) and the Faculty of Ethnology.
Belfleur called on Haitians to intensify the fight for the departure of peacekeepers from the country.
Related 08.09.2011: New Brazilian Def Min Weighs Withdrawal of Peacekeepers in Haiti
Related 06.06.2011: Armed MINUSTAH Soldiers Break into Toussaint Louverture Airport, Shots Fired
Related 04.02.2011: UN Concerned about Future of MINUSTAH
Source: Agence Haitienne de Presse