November 20, 2010
The New York-based Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations has issued a statement responding to media allegations that Nepali peacekeepers are responsible for the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
"We firmly reject such baseless, malicious and unfounded reports put out by some media and individuals without any regard to the specific evidence to the contrary. … Troops and police peacekeepers are being rotated round the year and Nepal conducts a thorough and standard medical check-up of its troops and police before sending them to any Peacekeeping Missions. Similarly no Peacekeeping Missions currently deploying Nepali peacekeepers in the other 12 Missions have reported any communicable disease either."
In fact, Nepal has been contributing troops and police to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations since 1958 and none of the host countries have ever reported any communicable disease, including cholera.
The Nepal Army’s historical association with UN missions
The participation of the army in UN peacekeeping operations spans five decades, covering 33 UN Missions, in which approximately 70,000 personnel have participated.
The Army’s long association began with the deployment of five military observers in the Middle East (United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon) in 1958.
Since then, the NA has contributed outstanding force commanders, elite military contingents, impartial military observers and dedicated staff officers. Their devotion to duty and excellent performance has been widely acclaimed. To date, 54 personnel of the Nepal Army have sacrificed their lives in the line of UN Mission duty and 57 have been disabled.
Countries in which Nepal Army personnel have been deployed on UN Missions
Sinai, Middle East
It should be reiterated that the United Nations has refuted the allegations that Nepali peacekeepers are responsible for Haiti’s cholera epidemic. This is based on lab tests carried out by the UN. The Haitian government has also agreed with this assessment.
Note to the international media
Either produce irrefutable proof that Nepali peacekeepers are responsible for the outbreak, or go cook up new sensational and baseless headlines in some other part of the world to titillate your targeted audience.