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Pas de surprise. Les USA ayant décidé de prendre en mains les opérations de secours en Haiti, le Pentagone a commencé par annexer l’aéroport de Port au Prince pour le “sécuriser”, le réservant aux vols US et détournant les autres vols (non-US) sur d’autres directions. Au chaos qui se développe dans la ville détruite s’ajoute le chaos dans l’aide humanitaire et entre les pays qui ont lancé cette aide.
Le mécontentement grandit, dans les rues de Port au Prince mais aussi chez certaines nations impliquées. Kouchner, spécialiste de l’aide humanitaire, a eu un mot sévère pour ses amis US (l’aéroport de Port au Prince devenu «une annexe de Washington»). Le mécontentement français est largement partagé par d’autres pays dont le Brésil. Résumé par un membre de Croix-Rouge US: «“We are all going crazy,” said Nan Buzard, of the American Red Cross». Un article du Guardian du 17 janvier 2010 mesure l’ambiance.
«The US military's takeover of emergency operations in Haiti has triggered a diplomatic row with countries and aid agencies furious at having flights redirected. Brazil and France lodged an official protest with Washington after US military aircraft were given priority at Port-au-Prince's congested airport, forcing many non-US flights to divert to the Dominican Republic.
»Brasilia warned it would not relinquish command of UN forces in Haiti, and Paris complained the airport had become a US "annexe", exposing a brewing power struggle amid the global relief effort. The Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières also complained about diverted flights. The row prompted Haiti's president, René Préval, to call for calm. “This is an extremely difficult situation,” he told AP. “We must keep our cool to co-ordinate and not throw accusations at each other.” […]
»Frustration over aid bottlenecks among donors became tinged by national rivalry as it became clear the US was taking ownership of the crisis. A vanguard of more than 1,000 US troops was on the ground and 12,000 were expected in the region by today, including marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson which anchored offshore as a “floating airport”.
»The Haitian government, paralysed by the destruction of the presidential palace and ministries, signed a memorandum of understanding formally transferring control of Toussaint L'Ouverture airport to the US. Former president Bill Clinton said he will travel to Haiti today to meet with government officials and deliver much-needed emergency supplies.
»The UN mission, which had a 9,000-strong peacekeeping force in Haiti before the quake, seemed too stunned by its own losses to take control. Its dead include its Tunisian head, Hédi Annabi, his Brazilian deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, and the acting police commissioner, Doug Coates, a Canadian.
»Flights seeking permission to land continuously circle the airport, which is damaged and has only a single runway, rankling several governments and aid agencies. “There are 200 flights going in and out every day, which is an incredible amount for a country like Haiti,” Jarry Emmanuel, air logistics officer for the UN's World Food Programme, told the New York Times. “But most flights are for the US military. Their priorities are to secure the country. Ours are to feed. We have got to get those priorities in sync.”
»France, which as the former colonial power expects a prominent role, protested when an emergency field hospital was turned back. The foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said the airport was not for the international community but “an annexe of Washington”, according to France's ambassador to Haiti, Didier Le Bret.
»Brazil, which saw its leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission as a calling card of its burgeoning influence, was also indignant when three flights were not allowed to land. The foreign ministry reportedly asked Hillary Clinton to grant Brazil priority over chartered flights. Nelson Jobim, the defence minister, said Brazil would not relinquish command duties and suggested it, not Washington, would continue to lead UN forces. Analysts said it was vital command issues be resolved.»