Security Council extends MINUSTAH Mandate. 13 October 2012, AHP, Port-au-Prince. Original article (in French) here
Last Friday (12 October), the UN Security Coucil extended the mandate for the UN mission in Haiti by a year. The current mandate expires on 15 October 2012.
In a unanimously carried resolution, the Security Council also decided to reduce the personnel of MINUSTAH to 6,279 soldiers and 2601 police officers, in accordance with the Secretary General’s recommendations. The force currently has 7,276 soldiers and 2,825 police officers.
Anthonal Mortimé, the Executive Secretary of the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organisations (POHDH), says that the extension of the MINUSTAH mandate comes as no surprise, inasmuch as the Haitian authorities do not wish to see its departure and leaders and members of the mission seem determined to hang on to the country.
He does, however, regret that the decision to renew the mandate proves that the UN is ignoring the many calls for the troops, some of which are accused of involvement in several cases of human rights violations, to leave the country.
Mortimé pointed out that UN troops are accused of being involved in murder (the hanging of 16 year old Gérald Gilles, in a MINUSTAH base in August 2010), rape (the Johnny Jean case in Port-Salut and Roody Jean in Gonaïves) and human rights violations across the country.
He also deplored that the mandate was renewed without taking into account a Haitian Senate resolution calling for the progressive withdrawal of troops beginning this year.
Mortimé also stated that the current Haitian authorities did not really want to see the departure of MINUSTAH, explaining that: “Those leaders who are involved, or accused of being involved, in corruption scandals among other things and who are faced with demonstrations calling for their removal, believe that the presence of UN troops will ensure their continuation in office. They don’t care that Haiti is losing its sovereignty and right to self-determination.”
He added that he believed that MINUSTAH had failed in its mission to bring Rule of Law to Haiti or work to reinforce institutions, pointing out that uncertainty still remained over elections that were due to be held in 2010.
[Translated from French by Haiti Support Group]
For more on MINUSTAH debate, see the ‘Analysis’ section