UN voted Thursday to officially end peacekeeping mission in Haiti after 13 years

Posted by AP on Friday, April 14, 2017 Under: Security
The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which will shut down after 13 years, passes an opposition protest in Port-au-Prince in February 2016

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday agreed to shut down the peacekeeping mission in Haiti after 13 years and replace it with a smaller police-only force. Acting on the recommendations of the Secretary-General, the Council also made a decision to establish a successor operation, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), which would be mandated to assist the Haitian Government to strengthen rule of law institutions, further support and develop the National Police and engage in human rights monitoring, reporting, and analysis.

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti since 2004, will be over in the next six months

 US ambassador Nikki Haley told the Security Council on Tuesday that thanks to recent elections in Haiti "the political context is right" for a new and smaller mission. The meeting, however, wasn't without controversy as Russian Federation argued that the role of the new mission remains unclear, and Brazil objected to the addition of new requirements that will set accountability standards for troop- and police-contributing nations charged with carrying out the U.N. mandate in hard environments such as Haiti. "Peacekeepers do fantastic work but they are very expensive and they should be used only when needed", Rycroft said. "And I think we'll see the same thing elsewhere". A new peacekeeping mission will follow for an initial period of six months, comprised of just 1,275 police to continue training the national police force and assist in developing the rule of law and promoting human rights in Haiti.

Washington is the largest contributor, paying 28.5 percent of the total budget. 

There are 2,342 United Nations troops in Haiti, who will withdraw over the coming six months. US Ambassador Nikki Haley has launched a review of all peacekeeping missions to find ways of cutting back costs and improving the operations, which have been plagued with sexual abuse and corruption scandals.

Shocking UN internal report reveals 130 peacekeepers sexually abused 9 children in Haiti

 Lucien Jura, a spokesman for Haitian President Jovenel Moise, paid tribute to the United Nations mission. The draft reiterates the need for security in the country to be accompanied by efforts to address "the country's extreme vulnerability to natural disasters".  

"This is a success story when it comes to drawing down a peacekeeping mission". MINUSTAH was created by the Council in the aftermath of the 2004 resignation of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as the country, rocked riots and insurgencies, plunged into chaos.

After the vote, Haley spoke out against sexual abuse by United Nations peacekeepers, saying children in Haiti will continue to face a "nightmare" after the troops are gone. It has suffered major natural disasters, including an quake in 2010 and Hurricane Matthew previous year. Haiti was free of cholera until 2010, when peacekeepers dumped infected sewage into a river. The United Nations does not accept legal responsibility for the outbreak of the disease, which causes uncontrollable diarrhea. 

In : Security 

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