Haiti and UN Peacekeeping Missions Term Paper

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The Council supported Ban's suggestions to minimize the Mission's military force level by one company, or 140 troops while raising the police constituent with an additional formed police constituent of up to 140 officers for a net authorized force of 2091 police. The final objective is to shift responsibilities to Haitian counterparts and to help the National Police of Haiti involvement in usual law and order responsibilities. (Extending UN's Haiti mission, Security Council adjusts forces to reflect changes)

On the military camp, the rest 7060 armies will be configured again based on a latest threat assessment. Ban gave a warning in his report that there are chances of civil unrest in the continuance of an intense socio-economic divide. Apart from that, the capability for fresh clashes inside the nation remains a possibility. He warned while the illegal drug business persists to weakening impact on Haiti. In answer to that the Mission will lower its military presence in urban areas wherein more Haitian and international policing potential would help in the shifting of some elementary patrolling duties, and will reinstall military personnel to set up patrols within maritime and also in regions where there are land borders, in assistance with the Haitian National Police and MINUSTAH police. (Extending UN's Haiti mission, Security Council adjusts forces to reflect changes)

During the period when U.S. occupied Haiti from 1915 till 1934, it was in answer to a danger to an apparent strategic concern. The concern, initially mentioned by President James Monroe in the principle by his name, was that the fresh colonization of any portion of the Americas by a European force endangered the security of the U.S. The assumption of President Theodore Roosevelt, that in order to ward off the European forces off, the U.S. is required to take upon the role of regional policeman, was executed in Haiti by his following successor Woodrow Wilson. The Latin American procedure of strategic negation identified the region's capability to be a total risk to the security of the U.S. lest any portion of it comes under the control of a hostile force. Concurrently with the turning of the century, the evaluation of the danger's possibility lowered such that it became reasonable to consider the area as an economy of Force Theater. This became the situation at the time of both World Wars I and II as well as during the Cold War. (Fishel, 35)

Critical Appraisal of the MINUSTAH Mission:

In case the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti -- MINUSTAH is required to get any credence with a local population more and more bothered by a the absence of the most fundamental security, it is apparent that a fresh mandate must give a higher control for the mission to tackle a nation on the brink of mayhem. The argument over the fresh mandate also arrives in the midst of rising regional opposition with antagonism by a lot of Haitians against the U.S. mission for what they consider as its passivity while handling the security situation from the period when the erstwhile President Jean-Bertrand Aristide ran away from the nation some 15 months back. The situation has come to be so bad that some Haitians are also warming to the suggestion that it is opportune moment for Haiti to assume some type of international protectorate. Concurrently, the undermanned Haitian National Police whose numerical strength is less than 4,000 for a nation of 8 million is considered as incompetent as well as corrupt, and some constituents themselves embroiled in criminal activity. While the Security Council argument initiates on the renewal of the MINUSTAH, it is under rising pressure both from outside as also inside Haiti, not just to accord the mission higher discretion in handling with the security issue, but also a longer term mandate. Most importantly, MINUSTAH's fresh mandate should hand over it the needed military and police capability to deal with these problems. (Bohning, 7)

The most fundamental problem remains that the U.N. peacekeeping forces are often under the compulsion to discharge their policing function against innocent people crammed into the slums and narrow alleyways of Port-au-Prince and other Haitian towns. The very fragile dividing line between peacekeeping and arbitrary repression can become perilously distorted in the Port-au-Prince regions of Bel-Air, Cite Soleil and Carrefour or the Northern city of Gonaives, which is recognized as the most tumultuous zones in the nation. A lot of incidents have started in the capital and northern Haiti in which no action has been taken to the heavy application of force, as narrated by the MINUSTAH officials. The association between the UN forces and local residents in these regions of the nation are not that harmonious, as acknowledged by them. However, on the average, peace and caution have continued in spite of the confusion challenging the military force of the UN mission, constituting of 6,700 forces across 12 nations. (UN Mission Walks Thin Line between Peacekeeping and Repression)

As a matter of fact the interim Prime Minister of Haiti, General Latortue implied in a press conference with the Uruguayan delegation that there is urgency for more force on UN peacekeeping mission. But he refrained from stating this openly and just stated that UN Security Council has to redistribute its forces or augment its presence in the most aggressive regions of the nation. It has been seen that forces function in places in which gang members take the help of devious procedures such as using children or women as human shields in their assaults. Nevertheless, the UN mandate to honor human rights is very apparent and will be adhered to in complete. The proliferation of armed groups, political splinter groups and also criminal gangs carrying out their activities in Haiti and the often blurring of the dividing lines between these sectors, as regards motivations and actions renders the UN mission mandate to foster disarmament, stability and peace a very complicated task. (UN Mission Walks Thin Line between Peacekeeping and Repression)

In Haiti, no defined forces are present with which there would be likelihood of negotiation, as opposed to other nations which is overwhelmed by internal quarrels. Following decades of violent dictatorships under the regime of Duvalier, Haiti as been governed by a series of frail democratic governments, in which there were regular military coups, and every coup has left a residue of paramilitary groups, apart from criminal gangs of drug traffickers and speckled members of the armed forces that has been disbanded in 1994. This violent mixture of armed, aggressive factions came to the forefront with the ousting of President Jean Bertrand Aristride, now staying in exile in South Africa. The real absence in Haiti in the present era is most severely shown by the diminished police force, which is constituted of nearly 5,000 substandard armed officers, whereas according to experts at the minimum 1, 00,000 are required to maintain law and order in the nation of approximately 8.5 million citizens, 50% of whom are crammed into Port-au-Prince. (UN Mission Walks Thin Line between Peacekeeping and Repression)

Previous UN Peacekeeping Missions to Haiti:

i) the UN Mission in Haiti- UNMIH (Sept 1993 to June 1986):

UNMIH was initially set up by the Security Council Resolution 867 (1993) of 23 September 1993, in assisting to carry out some of the provisions of the Governors Island Agreement approved by the Haitian parties on 3rd July 1993. Its mandate was helping to modernize the armed forces of Haiti and setting up a new police force. but, due to lack of cooperation of the military rule of the Haiti, UNMIH was unable to be completely deployed during that period and implement that mandate. Following restoration, in October 1994, of the Haitian Constitutional Government with the assistance of a multinational force spearheaded by the U.S. And permitted by the Security Council, UNMIH's mandate was revised by the Security Council in resolutions 940 of 1994 and 875 of 1995 to help the mission to help the democratic government of Haiti in meeting its obligations as regards maintaining a safe and even environment set up at the time of multinational phase and safeguarding the worldwide workforce and important installations; and the making the armed forces of Haiti professional enough and building of a distinct police force. (Haiti: Mandat)

UNMIH is also required to assist the rightful constitutional authorities of Haiti in setting up of an environment favorable to conducting legislative elections in a free and fair manner. UNMIH embarked its activities on 31st March 1995 completely. Democratic legislative elections were conducted in the summer of 1995. The Presidential elections were conducted in a successful manner on 17th December 1995 and the shifting of power to the incumbent President happened on 7th February 1996. Following the receipt of the appeal of the President of Haiti, UNMIH's mandate was extended by the Security Council resolution 1048 of 1996…[continue]

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