Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

After Thirteen Years, What Will Be the U.N.’s Legacy in Haiti?

On October 16, the United Nations (U.N.) will end its 13-year controversial peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The U.N. Mission for Stabilization in Haiti known by its French acronym MINUSTAH has been plagued by a series of controversies from sexual abuses to the current cholera epidemic. The UN cholera epidemic has killed over 10,000 Haitians and sickened 800,000 more. It took the U.N. nearly six years to acknowledge its role in spreading cholera and to issue a formal public apology to the Haitian people. Join our Time2Deliver campaign to press the U.N. to keep its promise to Haitian people and urge your country to contribute to the cholera fund if it has not already done so.

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The U.N.’s Legacy in Haiti: Stability, but for Whom?

Jake Johnston, World Politics Review 

After 13 years and more than $7 billion, the “touristas”—as the United Nations soldiers that currently occupy Haiti are commonly referred to—will finally be heading home. Well, sort of. While thousands of troops are expected to depart in October, the U.N. has authorized a new, smaller mission composed of police that will focus on justice and strengthening the rule of law. But the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH, is not just thousands of foreign soldiers “keeping the peace.” It is the latest and most visible manifestation of the international community’s habit of intervening in Haiti, a habit that is unlikely to change.

World powers have always had a difficult time accepting Haitian sovereignty. When a slave revolt delivered Haiti independence from France in 1804, gunboat diplomacy ensured the liberated inhabitants would pay for their freedom. For the next 150 years, Haiti paid France a ransom for its continued independence. In the early 20th century, a new hegemonic power held sway, with U.S. Marines occupying the country for more than 20 years.

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