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Haiti relief mission mixed with security needs

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Haiti relief mission mixed with security needs


It is day eight after the massive earthquake which brought death and destruction to Haiti.
Aid is at last said to be trickling through but security remains a problem.
In a bid to speed things up, the UN is to send in 2,000 more troops and 1,500 police.

Medical teams are pouring in but are warning of the immediate threats of tetanus and gangrene as well as the spread of measles, meningitis and other infections in a nation where AIDS, TB and malnourishment were already rampant.

Yesterday US troops were deployed on Haiti’s wrecked presidential palace to off-load both aid and security but it was a politically sensitive operation. Critics complain the 11,000 US troops in the country or on their way there amount to an invasion. Haitians themselves appear ready to welcome their help.

And the impassable roads have forced a change in tactics. Direct from their airbase in North Carolina, cargo planes and their personnel have been air dropping aid. What was initially considered a high risk strategy is now seen as the only way to reach Haiti’s rural victims.

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