Demonstrators in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince demand the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers from the country.
The U.N. Mission in Haiti has faced public outcry since video emerged which appears to show Uruguayan marines pinning down and sexually assaulting a young Haitian man.
[Charles Gustave, Protester]:
“We are protesting until the U.N. Mission in Haiti leaves the country. We, the progressive organizations, we are gathering together to force the U.N. Mission in Haiti out of the country. The U.N. Mission in Haiti is abusing our children and they are committing all sorts of crimes. Since the rape case that happened in Port-Salut in Cayes, we’re launching a non-stop protest until the U.N Mission in Haiti leaves.”
The alleged victim, 18-year-old Johnny Jean, told a judge he’d been raped on July 28th.
Four Uruguayan troops suspected of involvement have been detained and are facing court martial.
The U.N. mission has launched an inquiry into the incident, and Uruguay has formally apologized to Haiti.
As the march continued, police used tear gas to prevent protesters from entering a square in front of the damaged presidential palace.
Some demonstrators threw stones at police.
Uruguay contributes troops to the 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean nation.
The Haitian President says the country still needs the peacekeepers, but has called for a redefinition of their role, and the creation of a Haitian security force eventually to replace them.