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UN rejects claims

Barbara Plett reports for the BBC

from cholera victims

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

In a terse statement

the spokesman for the UNSecretary General Ban Ki-Moon

said the damages claimwas 'not receivable'

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

under a conventionthat grants

immunity

for its actions.

United Nations

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

Families of the victimsare demanding

millions of dollars in compensation

accusing the UN of introducingthe disease to Haiti.

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

The UN has never admitted responsibility,

despite mounting evidence

that the epidemic was caused

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

by poor sanitation

at a

peacekeeping camp.

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

A lawyer for the cholera victims

told the BBC that

UN immunity

could not mean impunity,

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

and said the case would now

be pursued in a national court.

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

The lawyer, Brian Concannon

said the victims' legal teamwould challenge

the UN's rightto immunityfrom Haitian courts

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

on the grounds that it hadn't established

an alternative mechanism for dealing withaccountability issues,

as stipulated in its agreement withthe government.

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

He also said lifting immunitywould not challenge UN policy,

which is protected by theconvention, but its practice

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

such as how to test troops

for disease

and properly

dispose of sewage.

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

There's evidence that infectedNepalese peacekeepers caused

the epidemic by dumpinguntreated waste into a key river system,

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

but the UN insists it's impossible to pinpoint blame definitively.

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

Late last year it launched an initiative to eliminate cholera

in Haiti by investing in clean drinking water and sanitation systems,

UN rejects claims from cholera victims

a move Mr Concannon said he considered

an unofficial response

to the victims' claims.

Barbara Plett reports

for the BBC

22 February 2013

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