UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations said Friday it was investigating allegations of assault and attempted homicide by peacekeepers in Haiti, the latest charges of misconduct to be leveled against the blue-helmeted force. Local media have alleged that a group of Brazilian peacekeepers working for the U.N. mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, severely beat and left for dead three young Haitian men earlier this week.
“The mission is doing everything it can to establish the facts as soon as possible,” U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters. “It (MINUSTAH) reiterates its zero tolerance policy regarding misconduct of its personnel and will examine all allegations with the utmost seriousness,” he said.
MINUSTAH is no stranger to negative press in Haiti. Many Haitians have called for the complete withdrawal of the force due to allegations that Nepalese U.N. troops brought a deadly cholera epidemic to the country after their camp latrines contaminated a river. That sparked riots last year.
Earlier this year, the U.N. force faced renewed public protests over allegations a group of Uruguayan troops raped a man.
In October, the U.N. Security Council voted to reduce the size of the unpopular force by 2,750, bringing MINUSTAH to just under 10,600 troops and police. That brought the size of the force back to its level before the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince.