Video: United Nations admits role in cholera outbreak

CNN/KRON—For years, people in Haiti have blamed the United Nations for a cholera outbreak that has killed thousands with the U.N. simply shrugging off the suggestion..

On Thursday, the U.N. has had a sudden shift in attitude.

For the first time since that initial outbreak nearly 6 years ago, the U.N. now admits it played a role in what happened.

It’s in response to a new report from an expert plainly stating the terrible epidemic wouldn’t have happened “but for the actions of the United Nations.”

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stops short of agreeing that the U.N. specifically caused it, but he’s acknowledging a role and says a new response is needed to deal with the crisis.

Scientists have argued for years that the first cholera victims lived near a U.N. peacekeeper base where waste was leaking into the local river.

It’s not clear yet whether the U.N. will change its legal position — it has refused to deal with lawsuits on behalf of victims claiming diplomatic immunity.

At least 10,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have been sickened.

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