The international community is hailing Haiti’s recent election as a sign that it is time for the United Nations to withdraw its peacekeeping force in Haiti, MINUSTAH. Leaders are concerned, however, about the Haitian National Police (PNH) remaining apolitical after the MINUSTAH drawdown because the last time the UN withdrew from Haiti, PNH became politicized and eventually collapsed. The current Haitian administration has mentioned its interest in creating a national army but UN Secretary-General Guterres is hoping international support will help make PNH more effective and Haiti’s permanent representative approved of Guterres’ report on the topic.
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U.N. Security Council supports replacing Haiti peacekeepers with smaller mission
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
April 11, 2017
The United Nations’ Security Council is welcoming a call by Secretary-General António Guterres to move to a new type of U.N. presence in Haiti by withdrawing peacekeepers after nearly 13 years and scaling back its $346-million-a-year stabilization mission to focus more on police, human rights and justice.
“Haiti is turning the corner after several months of uncertainty and deferrals of electoral timelines,” France’s Deputy Permanent Representative Alexis Lamek said, voicing a point of view shared by most member states who met Tuesday in New York to discuss Guterres’ recommendations. “Right now it has solid and fully democratic institutions, ones that can effectively tackle the challenges that people experience daily.”
Haiti’s peacekeeping mission is set to expire on April 15, and Security Council members must decide whether to extend its mandate another six months. Guterres, in a 37-page report, is recommending that it be extended one final time and then closed by Oct. 15. He’s also recommending that a smaller, refocused mission replace the current operation.