sexta-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2010

Logística de um desastre

Tem-se dito muito acerca da presença militar no Haiti - geralmente partindo de uma premissa bocó de que militar só faz usar de violência. Eu estava procurando um artigo que li outro dia, acerca da logística que possibilitou ao minúsculo aeroporto de Port-au-Prince receber centenas de aviões por dia. Não encontrei esse artigo mas achei outros, na Guardian, também interessantes sobre o trabalho executado pelos militares (perdoem-me por não poder traduzi-los agora).

Security and health are Haiti's priorities (Friday 15 January):
Footage from the US broadcaster CBS showed young men roaming the streets of Port-au-Prince armed with machetes and hunting for food. "I fear we're all aware that the situation is getting more tense as the poorest people who need so much are waiting for deliveries," said David Wimhurst, spokesman for the Brazilian-led UN peacekeeping mission."
The country's 800-strong police force "are not visible at all", said Wimhurst, and aid convoys have been warned to travel only with security escorts. The situation is exacerbated by more than 4,500 criminals who fled from two prisons destroyed in the city.
Security, until today in the hands of the 9,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, is now being bolstered by American troops. More than 800 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne division have already arrived, with 10,000 troops in the country by Monday, US defence officials said. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived in the area today.
Jan Egeland, the former UN emergency relief co-ordinator, told the BBC he believed that the situation would now improve sharply with the arrival of the US troops. "The biggest logistical capacity on Earth is in the hands of the US military. The military will come, and I think today and tomorrow you will see great logistical change – chains being established by them. And what is good to hear is that the US government and its military will work very closely with the UN, which is also working very closely with the Red Cross."
Haiti aid agencies warn: chaotic and confusing relief effort is costing lives ( Monday 18 January):
A major US aid agency, which declined to be named for political reasons, said it agreed with O'Shea. "It's quite apparent that the Haitian system can't handle this and I don't think there's a lot of confidence in the UN to provide security. It's clear the Americans are the ones to do this. There are of course political sensitivities but I think we're beyond that at the moment. Look at the reaction of ordinary Haitians. They are welcoming the Americans with open arms," said an official with the agency.

Others were more sceptical, saying the oversight of aid operations belongs with the UN. On Monday, France's cooperation minister, Alain Joyandet, criticised the US by saying that aid efforts were supposed to be about helping Haiti, not "occupying" it. But there is general agreement that someone needs to take charge.
The World Food Programme said todaythat agreement had been reached that its flights would receive priority landing at Port-au-Prince airport. Greg Barrow, a WFP spokesman, said the organisation has only been able to distribute with protection from US or UN troops. "We do need security to carry out distributions," he said.
US troops insist 'we're not in Haiti to fight' ( Monday 18 January):
You can't move such numbers of US soldiers into a sovereign country without it looking, slightly inevitably, like an invasion. But that's an impression the Americans are hyper-sensitive about countering. Whoever we talked to made a point of repeating that paratrooper's message.

"I cannot say this more clearly," the spokesman for the commander of the joint task force told us, standing on the tarmac in his military fatigues. "The focus of the American presence on the ground is to help with the humanitarian work. Obama, as our commander-in-chief, has given us the mission of alleviating suffering as much as we can, as fast as we can."

Over at the US embassy on the outskirts of the city, the same message was delivered even more directly: "This is a primary concern of ours," the embassy spokesman told us. "We want the people of Haiti to understand that we are here to help. We are not here to invade or occupy."

The desire to avoid any semblance of invasion is understandable, given the past few years in Afghanistan and Iraq. But there's also a local sensitivity, born of wave upon wave of American interference in the internal affairs of Haiti. Interference that Haitians have put behind them, but that they will never forget.
UN to boost Haiti quake relief force (Tuesday 19 January):
The American contingent arrived as the UN security council unanimously approved 3,500 more troops and police to reinforce the UN's 9,000-strong mission in Haiti to ensure security after a magnitude-7 earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people. The head of UN peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy, said the extra soldiers were essential because of the "tremendous" number of requests to escort humanitarian convoys, and in case the security situation deteriorates.

Just four blocks from the palace, hundreds of looters rampaged through the city's downtown area. People in one hillside Port-au-Prince district blocked off access to their street with cars and asked local young men to patrol for looters. Rescuers continued to find survivors seven days afer the earthquake. International rescue teams pulled two Haitian women from a collapsed university building using machinery to cut away debris.
Espero que esse contexto ajude a explicar esta notícia do El País sobre os jornalistas ("periodistas") acampados no aeroporto:
Los soldados de EE UU, que controlan las instalaciones, conminaron este jueves a los informadores extranjeros a salir del aeropuerto a petición del Ministerio de Transporte de Haití, explicó en Washington un funcionario de la administración de Barack Obama. Según este portavoz, fue el Ministerio de Transporte de Haití el que tomó esta decisión, al entender que debían restablecerse "los procedimientos de seguridad en el aeropuerto que existían antes del terremoto".
Los periodistas, mezclados con las organizaciones de ayuda humanitaria y los equipos de salvamento, ocupaban una amplia explanada situada entre las pistas de aterrizaje y la sede provisional de la Misión de la ONU para Haití (MINUSTAH).

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