Group Recommends 10 More Years of UN Peacekeeping Missions in Haiti
- Sunday, August 05, 2012 2:18 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. (defend.ht) - Two months before the United Nations Security Council votes to extend or end the mandate of the MINUSTAH peacekeeping force, a study released by the International Crisis Group recommended renewing the mandate for at least five more years and the establishment of a "political" peacemaking mission for another five years, thereafter.
The ICG report recognized that the local population in Haiti is pushing for the departure of the troops:
Despite the desire for withdrawal, the ICG report recommends a five-year transition plan that includes a shift from military-dominated contingents to police forces with military as back-up.
Furthermore, after this five-year transition, the ICG recommends that another five years be mandated to a UN Security Council-authorized political mission to focus on "peacebuilding and development."
Complexities of a Drawdown
President Michel Martelly has demonstrated a commitment to reinstating the Armed Forces of Haiti (FAdH) in three years to end the presence of foreign armed forces in Haiti's borders. The plan to have an army in Haiti is strongly opposed by regional powerhouse, the United States of America.
North American nations such as the U.S. and Canada, who hold interest in Haiti would rather the country focus on building its police force while military duties remain in the hands of the United Nations.
The people of Haiti are overwhelmingly against the continuing presence of UN peacekeepers.
As aforementioned, the introduction of cholera by peacekeepers, which has killed 7,000 Haitians is one source of the opposition. Also, despite calls from Haiti and the world for the UN to take responsibility for the cholera and the deaths, the leadership of the organization continue to not admit fault.
Multiple cases of rape of young people, physical abuse and children of peacekeepers left to single mothers has also soured the welcome of the United Nations soldiers.
From the summer of 2011 into the spring of 2012, a mobilization of former soldier of the Haitian army that was disbanded in 1995 had taken foot. Along with aspiring soldiers of a new Haitian army, many took to the streets in uniforms with arms and were welcomed by Haitians who desired an alternative to the foreign forces.
The Haitian government has not made any statements about the ICG report and its recommendations. In the past two months Haiti has consolidated a Ministry of National Defense and President Michel Martelly has begun visiting South American countries to garner support for a national army.
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