Port-Au-Prince, Sep 1 The last Brazilian peacekeeping soldiers to Haiti have officially wrapped up their 13-year UN military mission to the Caribbean country.
The UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was deployed in 2004 to help stem political violence after the departure of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide — but it has not endeared itself to Haitians.
“We arrived in June 2004 when Haiti was experiencing instability and violence,” Brazilian Defense Minister Raul Jungmann said Thursday at a ceremony held in Port-au-Prince to mark the official end of the battalion’s mission.
Many Aristide supporters have long perceived the mission as something of an occupying army.
The mission’s reputation was further tarnished in 2010, when Nepalese UN peacekeepers introduced cholera, leading to an outbreak that killed more than 9,000 Haitians.
Thursday’s ceremony marked an important step in closing MINUSTAH, which according to a unanimous UN Security Council resolution reached in April will fully shut down October 15.
The UN will deploy a successor operation, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).
That two-year mission involves training Haiti’s national police and working to help the country bolster the rule of law.
Outlook | September 1, 2017