Questions over US troops’ stay in Haiti
08 February 2010
DEPLOYED: US soldiers on guard in Haiti. PHOTO: AP/Javier Galeano
PORT-AU-PRINCE – From an air- conditioned tent in what used to be a Port-au-Prince bus station, the mighty US military controls its 17000 troops deployed to help Haiti’s earthquake relief amid questions over how long they will stay.
Colonel Gregory Kane paces across the tent, past rows of personnel wearing various iterations of camouflage that tap away at double-thick high security laptops.
“What’s that?” he shouts to a subordinate who is monitoring developments across Port-au-Prince and beyond.
“We have a human trafficking situation at DP15,” the subordinate responds, apparently referring to one of the 16 food distribution points that US forces police for the World Food Programme.
On Saturday desperate Haitians gathered at one of the drop-off points opposite Petionville’s cemetery, on the outskirts of the ruined capital city, Port-au-Prince.
Heavily armed US soldiers, sweating beneath flak-jackets, distributed food just metres away from the cemetery’s collapsed walls, where open graves were clearly visible. – Sapa-AFP