Haiti Rioters Blame Cholera on UN Peacekeepers

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United Nations peacekeepers from Brazil patrol in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Emilio Morenatti / AP)

Protesters in Haiti attacked United Nations forces yesterday, accusing them of causing the country’s cholera outbreak.

The violence erupted in the northern cities of Cap-Haitien and Hinche where Angry demonstrators blocked roads, threw rocks and shouted anti-UN slogans. One civilian was shot, six peacekeepers injured, Reuters notes.

But why attack peacekeepers?

Many locals believe the cholera problem originated in a United Nations camp housing Nepalese peacekeepers, where effluent (read: raw, untreated human feces) reportedly drained into the water supply. (Read: A Brief History of Cholera Outbreaks)

That may be true. Researchers from the Center for Disease Control confirmed that the strain of the disease crippling Haitians resembles a strain commonly found in South Asia.  But the camp, of course, denies a link. (See also: Pictures of Cholera’s toll in Haiti)

And, while the source of the outbreak may remain a mystery, the threat to Haiti is all too clear:  Political violence threatens to destabilize the island heading into the country’s presidential and legislative elections on November 28.

Click here for TIME’s take on the upcoming polls.

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