Thanks to Mike Perrett for alerting me to this report in The Times of India: Indian troops enter Haiti without cholera vaccination, face UN probe. The full report, and then a comment:
NEW DELHI: Indian peacekeepers in Haiti are facing a probe by the United Nations for arriving in the Caribbean country without the mandatory cholera vaccination.
More than 100 men of Assam Rifles, India's oldest paramilitary force, landed in Haiti last year in July-August after they were certified by the home ministry as having taken the vaccine.
The UN has officially sought a clarification from the Indian government as to why it confirmed that these troops had been vaccinated.
The UN has been particularly dismayed as it has been accused of having caused the cholera outbreak in Haiti in 2010. In a rare gesture by the UN last month, then secretary general Ban Ki-Moon apologised for the outbreak to Haiti in an address to the general assembly.
Haiti blames UN for cholera outbreak
There was no trace of cholera in Haiti until 2010 when, as widely believed, UN peacekeeping forces from Nepal arrived in the country. These troops were accused of causing the outbreak of cholera by performing their daily ablutions in a river next to the base they were stationed at.
Haiti officially holds UN responsible for this introduction of the cholera strain which has caused over 10,000 deaths in the country in the past 6 years.
For years — before Ban finally apologised — the UN had denied its role in the cholera outbreak in Haiti leading its own special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights to describe the UN's conduct as a disgrace.
Facing intense criticism over its role in the cholera outbreak, UN in 2015 made anti-cholera vaccines mandatory for all peacekeeping forces arriving in Haiti. Exactly a year after a contingent of Assam Rifles comprising over 100 men arrived claiming they had been vaccinated. These men are now being locally administered the anti-cholera vaccine.
An Assam Rifles spokesperson told TOI that troops force were part of a UN Formed Police Unit which does guard duty in Haiti but did not respond to a query on why these soldiers falsely claimed that they had taken the vaccine as part of their pre departure formalities.
The story gets a couple of details wrong: the Nepalis didn't bathe in the river, they pumped their excrement into it. But it's a scandal that the Indian troops were allowed to get away with lying about their vaccinations, and another scandal that it took almost six months for the story to come out.