Chief of UN mission in Haiti says mission must not leave prematurely

23 August 2005

The chief of the United Nations mission in Haiti says the peacekeepers should not leave the Caribbean country prematurely, thereby repeating the same mistake that previous UN missions have made.

Speaking to reporters in Brasilia, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and chief of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Juan Gabriel Valdés, said: “Previous missions have failed because they pulled out their troops prematurely. MINUSTAH must avoid making the same mistake.”

Haiti needed substantive advances in its development before it could consolidate a democratic system, he added.

The international community had to involve itself more deeply for the time necessary, especially in bolstering law enforcement and the judiciary, Mr. Valdés said, and all political parties that renounce violence had to be given a guaranteed opportunity to take part in the elections to form a democratic and legitimate government.

He thanked Brazil, especially MINUSTAH Force Commander General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, for its leading role in the mission’s successes.

After an insurgency that forced elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile in February 2004, MINUSTAH has spent more than a year trying to re-establish law and order in the Caribbean country.


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