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U.N. Stabilization Mission Condemns Wave of Lynchings in Haiti

25 August 2005

Acts of violence occurring in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince

By Eric Green
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- New violence in the form of lynchings has erupted over the last several weeks in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince, reports the U.N. Stabilization Mission in the Caribbean country.

The U.N. mission, known as MINUSTAH, in an August 25 statement expressed its "very serious concern over this new settling of accounts and firmly condemns these acts of violence which are considered crimes under Haiti's constitution and laws."

MINUSTAH called on "citizens who have participated in these criminal acts" to end them at once.

The mission has said it is continuing to support Haiti's transitional government in its efforts to reform and strengthen the country's institutions.  Such efforts, said MINUSTAH, "are fundamental for the establishment" of a Haitian state "based on the rule of law as the only guarantee of social and political stability."

Violence in Haiti's capital has been one of the major problems facing MINUSTAH since it was set up by the U.N. Security Council in 2004 to help re-establish order in the impoverished country after an insurgency forced former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile in February 2004.

The United States is providing some of the civilian police and military personnel for the approximately 1,000-person MINUSTAH force working to stabilize Haiti.

The warning from MINUSTAH follows its August 23 statement that its peacekeeping force in Haiti must not leave the Caribbean country prematurely.

MINUSTAH said other missions in Haiti "failed because they pulled out their troops prematurely.  MINUSTAH must avoid making the same mistake."

ABOLITION OF TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE COMMEMORATED

In a separate event involving Haiti, the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) marked the "International Day for the Remembrance of Slavery and its Abolition" August 23 by recalling the "lasting consequences" of the slave trade in the Americas, Europe and the Indian Ocean region.

UNESCO chose that date as the international day of remembrance to commemorate an August 22-23 insurrection in Saint-Domingue (today Haiti), which was to play a pivotal role in the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the emancipation of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Haiti declared its independence from France in 1804, becoming the second independent republic in the Western Hemisphere after the United States.

For additional information, see Haiti.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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