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Security Council expects peaceful Haiti polls, regrets deaths of 2 peacekeepers

Security Council expects peaceful Haiti polls, regrets deaths of 2 peacekeepers

Expressing deep regret for the killing last week of two Jordanian United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti, the Security Council today pledged its continued support to the Caribbean country and the UN mission there, while also voicing the expectation that next month’s elections will be peaceful.

“The members of the Security Council reiterated their sustained support to the Government of Haiti and to the UN Mission of Stabilization (MINUSTAH)… in their quest for peace, stability and progress for all Haitians, particularly in the fight against gang violence,” the 15-member body said in a press statement.

“The members of the Security Council voiced their expectations for the next step in the electoral process, the municipal and local elections scheduled for next 3 December, to be carried out in a peaceful ambiance, with the support of MINUSTAH for the success of this process.”

Security Council President for November, Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales of Peru, read out the statement after hearing a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jane Holl Lute.

The two Jordanians were shot by armed individuals last Friday near the airport in the capital Port-au-Prince, and an investigation is currently under way into the killings.

For years, powerful gangs controlled areas of the capital, forcibly recruiting children and keeping away outsiders, including humanitarian workers. However following the election of René Préval as the new President in February, the gangs declared a unilateral truce and these areas finally became accessible.

The human rights situation in Haiti remains cause for concern with reports of extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detentions in deplorable conditions, nevertheless during her visit to the country last month, the top UN rights official said there is room for optimism in light of the Government’s will to confront and resolve such problems.