HAITI....

AT St Catherine's Hospital, Mogina is sitting up in bed. The 62-year-old has a dressing over a bullet wound above her left breast. She cries out in pain and lifts her hand to her brow as she tells me how, the day before, she was shot outside her front door. Mogina claims the bullet was fired by UN soldiers as they sped past in an armoured truck. "I didn't see them quickly enough to take cover," she says. "They seemed to be firing at anything."

In the next ward lies 14-year-old Mackenson. The boy has a dressing on his neck, and has been waiting four days for an operation to remove a bullet. Mackenson pulls the bandage to the side to show us the metal stuck inside him. He is unable to speak, but his friend tells us the boy was shot in his home, where he was seeking refuge from a gun battle raging in the street.

Mogina and Mackenson are just two innocent victims of the violence engulfing a notorious shantytown called Cité Soleil, in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Sun City, as the French name ironically translates, is a teeming slum barely one square mile in size. It is home to nearly 400,000 people, squeezed into a pocket of land next to the sea. As the tropical sun beats down, they bake in their ramshackle huts without electricity, running water or proper sanitation. The slum has been dubbed the Calcutta of the Caribbean, and the misery for the beleaguered inhabitants is exacerbated by daily gun battles between the gangs that rule the streets and a UN peacekeeping force that stands accused of human-rights abuses.

Read the full article on the Scotsman website

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