Security Council urges Haiti to devise beneficial projects, free unindicted prisoners

9 March 2005

Members of the United Nations Security Council today welcomed the release of some political leaders in Haiti, but called on the Transitional Government of the Caribbean country to speed up pending cases and ensure due process for all.

In a press statement issued after a senior UN official in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) described in a closed briefing the major events that have taken place since mid-November, the Council also urged the Government to develop "concrete projects that could effectively utilize the assistance provided." It appealed for prompt disbursement of pledged funds.

Council members welcomed the provisional release from jail of several leaders of Fanmi Lavalas, former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party, and it "called upon the Transitional Government to expedite all pending cases and to ensure due process for all citizens."

"Members were updated that former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune remains incarcerated without charge and is on a hunger strike," they said in a statement to reporters by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg of Brazil, which holds the Council presidency for March.

The Government's compensation programme for former military men should be part of a comprehensive and durable solution to the need for an integrated disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme, they said.

Meanwhile, "the members of the Security Council will be discussing the Council's upcoming mission to Haiti, possibly in conjunction with a mission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti, planned for mid-April," the statement said.

With regard to elections scheduled to take place in the last quarter of the year, Council members said the success of the poll would depend on the capacity of the transitional government to record progress on national reconciliation, security and economic development.