The Security Council today renewed for another six months the 8,500-strong United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti after hearing a report from Secretary-General Kofi Annan outlining a deteriorating security situation with a surge of violence in the impoverished Caribbean country.
The unanimous decision to renew until 1 June 2005 the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was a year less than Mr. Annan had requested. The operation was set up in April to help foster a democratic political solution after widespread unrest led to the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide the previous month. Mr. Annan cited the timeline established for a series of elections culminating with the transfer of power to an elected president on 7 February 2006.
But the resolution welcomed his report and declared the Council’s intention to renew the mandate for further periods.
It stressed the urgency of conducting Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes and urged the Transitional Government to establish without delay the National Commission on DDR, in line with Mr. Annan’s call to remove all illegal weapons from the streets.
It also emphasized that political reconciliation and economic reconstruction remain key to the stability and security of Haiti, condemned all violations of human rights and urged the Transitional Government to take all necessary measures to put an end to impunity.
Concerned by any arbitrary detention of people solely for their political affiliation, it called on the Transitional Government to release those against whom no charges have been brought.
The Council also urged the Transitional Government to continue to explore actively all possible ways to include in the democratic and electoral process those who currently remain outside the transition process but have rejected violence.
It endorsed all of Mr. Annan’s main recommendations, which included a call for the relevant international financial institutions and donor countries to disburse promptly the funds pledged at the International Donors Conference on Haiti held this summer in Washington.
Latest figures show that more than two thirds of MINUSTAH’s authorized strength of 6,700 soldiers and 1,622 civil police are already on the ground.