Tuesday, October 26, 2004

 

More countries send help to Haiti

Yes, I am obsessed with Haiti, and always have been. This is the latest, and it's from a U.S. government website:

Chile, Ecuador, Spain, Morocco Reinforcing U.N. Mission in Haiti

U.N. says reinforcements "badly needed" in Haiti

By Eric GreenWashington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Chile and Ecuador will send a joint engineering company to Haiti to reinforce a United Nations stabilization mission in the Caribbean country, the U.N. announced.

In an October 22 statement, the U.N. said the engineering company will help in the construction, maintenance, and/or upgrade of major supply routes for the stabilization mission, known as MINUSTAH. Among other tasks, the engineering company will also build and maintain infrastructure.

The U.N. also said troops from Spain and Morocco are heading to Haiti to participate in MINUSTAH, while 70 Guatemalan soldiers have started deploying Guatemala's major equipment, which will be fully operational and able to help the mission in early November. In addition, the main body of a 750-member battalion from Sri Lanka will be arriving by the end of October, the U.N. said.

The U.N. said 95 police officers from China arrived in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince October 17 to join the MINUSTAH police unit. The police unit's main role is to help in crowd control, assist in the maintenance of public order, and participate in patrols and conduct verification check-points. Besides the officers from China, police officers in the MINUSTAH mission are from Nepal, Pakistan, and Jordan.

The new arrivals in Haiti will boost the number of personnel in MINUSTAH to about 4,100 people, the U.N. said. The U.N. expressed its hope that at full strength, MINUSTAH -- led by Brazil -- will have a force of 6,700 troops and 1,622 civilian police, 548 international civilian personnel, 154 U.N. volunteers, and 995 local civilian staff. More than 15 countries have pledged to contribute military personnel to the mission.

The additional personnel are "badly needed," said MINUSTAH official Toussaint Kongo-Doudou, reflecting on the latest political violence, instability, and natural disasters which have racked Haiti in the last several months. During that time, more than 50 people have died in political violence, while nearly 2,000 were killed and hundreds more remain missing due to floods caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne.

MINUSTAH's Kongo-Doudou called for U.N. member states to "continue to support Haiti by sending in more troops and civilian police."

MINUSTAH took over responsibility in Haiti from a U.S.-led multinational interim peacekeeping force that was sent to the country following the February 29 resignation of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Among its tasks, MINUSTAH is charged with establishing a secure and stable environment; fostering democratic governance and institutional development; assisting Haiti's transitional government in organizing free and fair municipal, parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible; strengthening the rule of law; and supporting the country's human rights institutions and groups.

http://usinfo.state.gov/mena/Archive/2004/Oct/25-232577.html

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