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Monday, 17 April 2017

United Nations votes to end to Haiti Peacekeeping mission in mid-October


April 13, the U.N. Security Council voted to end the peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Today, the UN Security Council voted to end the MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission after a 13-year presence in Haiti. The U.N. peacekeepers arrived in Haiti in 2004 to bring order to violent chaos after the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

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. Haley asked, citing the AP’s investigation detailing how at least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers sexually abused and exploited nine Haitian children between 2004 and 2007.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley urged all countries that send troops to UN peacekeeping mission to punish soldiers who commit sexual abuse and exploitation, citing the abuse by Sri Lankan soldiers. Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, mentioned the new sexual abuse allegations in her remarks to the United Nations on Thursday.

“We will, however, continue to push for accountability of those troops in Haiti as well as all troop contributing countries involved in peacekeeping efforts”, she said. Technically, United Nations does not have a binding on peacekeepers but the accused soldiers were left untouched in their countries.

There are 2,342 United Nations troops in Haiti, who will withdraw over the coming six months. The UN said the new mission was also authorized to “protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, as needed”.

The Security Council resolution recognized the recent elections as a “major milestone towards stabilization”. “The U.N. promised to help eradicate the disease in the country and assist families who lost their loved ones”. “All I know is that having the United Nations people around helps Haiti’s economy a little bit”.

But many Haitian citizens have always seen the multinational peacekeepers as an occupying force and an affront to national sovereignty. I don’t see how they’ve been helping Haiti at all. The shutdown of the $346 million mission, recommended by U.N. chief Antonio Guterres, comes as the United States looks to cut its funding of U.N. peacekeeping. Over the course of three years, he said he had sex with more than 100 Sri Lankan peacekeepers, averaging about four a day. “I did not even have breasts”, said a girl, known as Victim Number One.

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