New police arrivals bring UN security force in Haiti to nearly 5,000

11 November 2004

A 250-strong Pakistani police unit has arrived in Haiti to join the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) there as the operation's uniformed strength continues climbing towards its authorized total of nearly 8,000 soldiers and civilian police.

The latest contingent, together with 160 Moroccan soldiers who arrived earlier in the week, brings the force's total to some 4,750. The mission was set up in April to maintain security and foster a democratic political transition in the strife-torn Caribbean country following the departure the previous month of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide amid armed unrest.

The Pakistani police, who are trained in crowd control, will be deployed in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and Gonaïves, Haiti's third-largest city, to ensure public security and protect the population.

MINUSTAH also reported today that humanitarian assistance in Gonaïves, devastated in September by floods and mudslides from deadly Tropical Storm Jeanne, is now in transition between the emergency and rehabilitation phases. From now on aid there will be provided through ration cards rather than through mass distribution.

Haitian authorities have estimated that at least 1,300 people perished and more than 1,000 others were missing as a result of the storm, with most casualties in Gonaïves.


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