Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Senators are asking for an explanation of Radio MINUSTAH

�Senators are asking for an explanation of Radio MINUSTAH�

Port-au-Prince, February 27, 2007 (AHP)- Senator Jean Hector Anacacis indicated Tuesday that the Haitian Senate intends to ask � questions of officials of AMIH (the National Association of Haitian Independent Media), ANMH (National Association of Haitian Media) and the Minister for Public Works and Communications, Frantz V�rella, �regarding “Radio MINUSTAH”. �

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti contacted the government communications agency CONATEL to request a broadcast frequency. CONATEL director general Marcelin Montaigne explained that he lacks a legal mechanism that would enable him to grant a frequency to MINUSTAH. �

�At about the same time MINUSTAH published a notice announcing that it wishes to rent a frequency, and explaining that the UN’s need for its own radio station takes precedent over all Haitian laws and that MINUSTAH needs the radio broadcasts to get its messages across and to communicate with the Haitian people. �

Senator Anacacis replied angrily that MINUSTAH, as a foreign military force, has no right to have a radio station in Haiti, where, he asserted, it will only continue to be present for a few more months. �

“The duly empowered Haitian authorities have an obligation to oppose such a project”, he said, urging officials of ANMH and AMIH as well as Minister Verella to convey to the Haitian Senate their position on this matter. �

MINUSTAH’s director of communications, David Wimhurst, also justified the request that a radio frequency be granted� to the UN mission with the argument that some of the Haitian media are too biased in their work. �

In response to criticism from some of the media, Wimhurst said that these media never had any problem receiving money from the UN to pay for broadcasts of the program ” Espace MINUSTAH”.

Having replaced the US-dominated multi-national force that arrived in Haiti on February 29 to compel President Aristide to leave office, MINUSTAH played a key role in protecting the illegitimate regime of� G�rard Latortue, which was a product of the anti-Aristide GNB movement. �

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