Haitians have welcomed the announcement that the United Nations Security Council had voted to end its 13-year-long peacekeeping mission in their country and replace it with a smaller police force, which would be drawn down after two years as the country boosts its own force.
The MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission, which has been in the country since the 2004 ouster of then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is deeply unpopular with Haitians and has been dogged by controversies.
U.N. peacekeepers have been accused of sexual abuse and blamed for the cholera outbreak. Haiti was free of cholera until 2010, when peacekeepers dumped infected sewage into a river.
The announcement of MINUSTAH's exit on October 15, 2017 is good news for the people of Haiti. For a long time, we have been demanding that MINUSTAH leave but it is clear that we are left very frustrated and furious.
“The announcement of MINUSTAH’s exit on October 15, 2017 is good news for the people of Haiti. For a long time, we have been demanding that MINUSTAH leave but it is clear that we are left very frustrated and furious because that exit should be accompanied by justice and reparations for all the crimes that took place over these 13 years,” said Economist and Political leader, Camille Charlemers.
The United Nations Security Council on Thursday began shutting down its 13-year old peacekeeping mission in the country.
The operation would be replaced with a smaller police operation, which would be drawn down over two years as the country boosts its own force.
The closure of the $346 million mission, recommended by U.N. chief Antonio Guterres, comes as the United States looks to cut its funding to U.N. peacekeeping. Washington is the largest contributor, paying 28.5 percent of the total budget.
“We regard the transformation of the Haiti mission, including the withdrawal of the military, as a strong example for how peacekeeping missions can and should change as a country’s political situation changes,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told the council.
There are currently 2,342 troops on the ground in Haiti, who would withdraw over the coming six months.