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.