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Change of Guard in Haiti: An Unpopular U.N. Mission Makes Way for a Replacement

LADB Article ID: 80290
Category/Department: Haiti
Date: 2017-05-11
By: George Rodríguez

The UN’s security force, the Blue Helmets, is about to end a mission in Haiti that, over more than a decade, has earned official praise as well as popular rejection. The 2,370-strong Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haïti (United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti, MINUSTAH) will close operation by Oct. 15, as ordered by the UN Security Council on April 13. It will be replaced by a smaller police mission whose initial six-month mandate could be extended for as long as two years. One of its tasks is to allow Haiti to enhance its own force, the Police Nationale d’Haïti (Haiti National Police, PNH).The Security Council decided to remove MINUSTAH after considering Haiti’s recent steps toward stabilization: The country held its much-delayed presidential elections, a new president was sworn-in and was able to form a government, and the country’s legislature became functional again “We strongly support the ending of this mission, turning it into something else,” Matthew Rycroft, the British ambassador to the UN, told reporters minutes before the April 13 Security Council meeting. “What we now need is a newly configured mission, which is focused on the rule of law and human rights in Haiti.”

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