As we are all too well aware, Haiti was struck by a massive earthquake on 12th January 2010. Seven days later, rescue efforts continue. There have been many obstacles to assistance reaching those in need and no doubt there will be more still in the days to come.
News reports are erratic and many horrible and strange stories are coming out of Haiti. Of course there have also been stories of hope.
France warns America
Sky news, in the UK, has reported that France had warned America, about the presence of American troops on Haitian soil. What the hell's it got to do with them?, was my first reaction.
Haiti has been an independent country since 1804.
It appears as if France owes Haiti some recompense for their treatment of this country since independence. However setting all that aside.
Currently American troops are acting as a peacekeeping force in Haiti. As such, they have been advised to carry their weapons in the manner of UN peacekeepers and not fighting forces. However, with sparodic outbursts of violence, and looting, it is not an easy job for anyone concerned. To date there have been two lynchings and no-one wants Haiti to have to suffer mob rule, along with its many other problems.
French officials have criticised America's relief efforts in Haiti, claiming that international aid programmes should be about helping the country and not 'occupying' it. A French Minister has asked that the UN investigate the presence of American troops in Haiti. Some of this seems to be because America is taking the dominant role.
Personally, I thought this was due to the close proximity of America and its huge resources. It would seem others think that America has a hidden agenda. Shame on you. Those people need help and need it now.
Whilst governments procrastinate people are dying.
Last week US forces turned back a French aid plane. This seems to have instigated some of the worries. A complaint from the French co-operation minister, Alain Joyandet was made. The plane did manage to land safely, the following day.
Currently the United Sates military controls the Port-au-Prince airport. There is only one runway functioning. The US military has been effectively running aid operations. However, the United Nations has now taken the lead in co-ordinating aid.