Drawdown of UN Mission Could Impact Organized Crime in Haiti

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 20, 2017

An Associated Press investigation into a sexual offence committed by a U.N peacekeeping soldier on his mission duty has shaken the foundations of the worldwide organization and provoked harsh reactions by the global powers.

"These peacekeepers are sent into vulnerable communities to protect the innocent, not to exploit or rape them", Haley said.

"If missions don't stay long enough to secure the gains they make and ensure that the host government is truly ready to manage security, United Nations member states will pay a much bigger price in the long-term", she said in an email.

MINUSTAH was created by the Council in the aftermath of the 2004 resignation of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as the country, rocked riots and insurgencies, plunged into chaos.

The new mission will be established for an initial six months, from October 16, 2017, to April 15, 2018, under the training and guidance of seven United Nations police units. Haiti was free of cholera until 2010, when peacekeepers dumped infected sewage into a river. The allegations involved United Nations peacekeepers and other personnel. Over a period of three years, beginning when she was 12 years old, she was forced to have sex with over 50 peacekeepers, the AP said.

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday urged all countries including Sri Lanka that provide troops for U.N. peacekeeping missions to hold soldiers accountable for sexual abuse and exploitation of women and children in Haiti.

Honoré, however, said it was time to reshape the partnership among the global community, the United Nations and Haiti "with a view to monitoring concerns, such as human rights issues, and ensuring that progress made since MINUSTAH's 2004 establishment endure".

From 2004 to 2007, 134 peacekeepers from Sri Lanka operated a child sex ring, luring children on the poverty-stricken island with candy and bits of cash, according to the AP.

She strongly warned the countries that if they refuse to hold their soldiers accountable, there will be consequences such as their financial compensation will end. "We expect the U.N.to fulfill its commitments", said Moise spokesman Jura.

Aditi Gorur, who researches peacekeeping issues as a director of the Washington-based Stimson Center think tank, said that a 13-year year stabilization mission may seem like a long time, "but creating a stable peace with an inclusive government is a decades-long endeavor" in troubled countries.

Recalling the horror of the abuse by peacekeepers, a victim said, "I did not even have breasts,".

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