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Haiti’s Military Resurfaces After Two Decades Out of View

LADB Article ID: 80386
Category/Department: Haiti
Date: 2017-08-24
By: George Rodríguez

A lengthy record of human rights violations as well as involvement in politics led two decades ago to the decision to disband Haiti’s military.The measure was taken in 1995 when then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide––the military’s latest victim––decided it was time to end uniformed bullying. The Police Nationale d’Haïti (Haiti National Police), created that year by the legislature, was tasked with both internal security and protection of national sovereignty. The military class was put aside, but the Constitution was not amended to formally abolish the armed forces (Forces Armées d’Haïti, FAd’H). Describing the measure as a restructuring, the Aristide administration’s decree of Jan. 6, 1995, created a commission to complete the task, but it never got to actually work. When Michel Martelly began his five-year term (2011-2016), he immediately began the process of reactivating the country’s military, something he had promised during his campaign. On Oct. 9, 2015, four month before ending his term in office, the Conseil de Ministres (Council of Ministers) issued a decree officially re-mobilizing the FAd’H.According to the decree, the decision was designed to ensure security nationwide after MINUSTAH’s departure (now scheduled for October) and its replacement by the smaller, Mission des Nations Unies pour l’Appui à la Justice en Haïti (UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti, MINUJUSTH).

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