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MINUSTAH Mission des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haïti

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was established on 1 June 2004 by Security Council resolution 1542 PDF Document. The UN mission succeeded a Multinational Interim Force (MIF) authorized by the Security Council in February 2004 after President Bertrand Aristide departed Haiti for exile in the aftermath of an armed conflict which spread to several cities across the country.

The devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010, which resulted in more than 220,000 deaths (according to Haitian Government figures), including 96 UN peacekeepers, delivered a severe blow to country's already shaky economy and infrastructure. The Security Council, by resolution 1908 of 19 January 2010, endorsed the Secretary-General's recommendation to increase the overall force levels of MINUSTAH to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction and stability efforts in the country.

Following the completion of Presidential elections in 2011, MINUSTAH has been working to fulfil its original mandate to restore a secure and stable environment, to promote the political process, to strengthen Haiti’s Government institutions and rule-of-law-structures, as well as to promote and to protect human rights.

The Mission continued to mobilize its logistical resources to assist in the effort to contain and treat the cholera outbreak of October 2010. UN peacekeepers arriving from Nepal are believed to have caused Haiti’s current cholera epidemic. The disease spread near a UN base in October of 2010. Since then, more than 788,000 cases of the infectious disease have been reported. At least 9,000 people had died. In 2016 the United Nations promised to strengthen its fight against the spread of the deadly cholera disease. UN peacekeeping troops unknowingly brought the disease to Haiti seven years earlier. But, by March 2017, the UN had raised just a small amount of the estimated $400 million it needs over the next two years to fight the disease.

Recognizing the “major milestone” Haiti has achieved toward stabilization following recent elections, the Security Council on 13 April 2017 extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the island nation for a final six-month period and authorized a smaller successor peacekeeping mission.

The prospect of international troops departing has evoked concern about security gaps. But there's also widespread enthusiasm to send off the peacekeepers, who've been accused of everything from indifference to sexual predation. Haiti-based rights groups complained of peacekeepers not intervening to halt acts of violence and, in some cases, of sexually exploiting vulnerable women and children themselves.

A UN report acknowledged a child sex ring in which nine Haitian children were victimized by 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers from 2004 to 2007. Most were deported to their home country. None spent time in prison. The United Nations has no jurisdiction over peacekeepers, leaving punishment to the countries that contribute the troops.

Unanimously adopting a new resolution, the Council decided that, after over 13 years operating in its current form, the UN Stabilization Mission, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, would gradually draw down its military component during the next six months, finally withdrawing from Haiti by 15 October 2017.

Acting on the recommendations of the Secretary-General, the Council also decided 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.

Further to the resolution, MINUJUSTH would be composed of up to seven Formed Police Units – or 980 FPU personnel – and 295 Individual Police Officers for an initial period of six months from 16 October 2017 until 15 April 2018, and emphasized the importance of reaching those levels. The current Mission has just over 1,000 individual police and 11 police units. The new Mission was also authorized to “protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, as needed.”

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Page last modified: 17-04-2017 12:21:24 ZULU