A group of 20 people’s organizations in Haiti published a carta asking China and Russia, as permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations (UN), to prevent the approval of a new extension of the UN Mission in the country. On July 15th, the last term of extension of the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), started in 2004, under the command of Brazilian troops, expires.
In 18 years of military occupation, MINUSTAH was responsible for spreading cholera in Haiti, which caused about 30,000 deaths and 700,000 sick. Between 2005 and 2006, when UN troops were commanded by the Brazilian general Augusto Heleno, currently the chief minister of the Institutional Security Office (GSI), around 8,000 people were killed in the capital Port-au-Prince alone. In 2005, the massacre of Cité Soleil, one of the largest slums in the Haitian capital, was also denounced, occupied by the military in an episode that ended with 27 civilians dead, 20 of them women and adolescents, according to independent surveys.
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The presence of MINUSTAH troops also contributed to the circulation of weapons in the country. There are about 77 armed groups, which control entire regions in the country and finance themselves through drug and arms trafficking. According to the National Disarmament Commission, there are about 500,000 weapons circulating illegally on the island.
In the note published last weekend, the movements also denounced links between UN mission officials and irregular armed groups.
“The current representative of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, Helen La Lime, is the instigator of a federation of armed gangs with terrorist practices across the country where the kidnapping has become daily and reflects another sign of the failure of the UN missions. “, they denounce.
Prior to heading the United Nations Office in Port-au-Prince, Helen La Lime was the US Ambassador to Angola.
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At the last session of the UN Security Council, on Thursday (16), three other permanent member states, France, the United States and the United Kingdom, showed interest in renewing MINUSTAH’s mandate for another year, at the request of the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. The last nine-month extension, approved in 2021, was discussed without the presence of Haitian officials.
Last year, during the Council’s session, the Chinese ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jung, argued that Haiti could not achieve stability without its autonomy, “the UN did nothing in Haiti”, he said.
Editing: Thales Schmidt