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Haiti: UN mission helps refurbish high school for 5,000 students

Haiti: UN mission helps refurbish high school for 5,000 students

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has helped rehabilitate a high school for some 5,000 students in the St. Martin quarter of Port-au-Prince, the capital, after it had been out of commission since 2004 because of insecurity and disrepair.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Edmond Mulet took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lycée Daniel Fignolé, stressing that strengthening state institutions, including education facilities, is a crucial part of the mandate of the mission, set up in 2004 to help re-establish peace in the impoverished Caribbean country after an insurgency forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile.

The 16-classroom school was refurbished with UN and United States Government funding. “After the events of 2004, I was tossed around from school to school,” said one student, Fèdre Lacroix. “Now I’m happy to be back again in my old building.”

In related developments, UN peacekeepers continued their crackdown on armed gangs in Port-au-Prince, arresting five more presumed members of the Evans criminal gang. Scores of suspects have been captured in the Cité Soleil neighbourhood, one of the violence-ridden country’s most dangerous areas, in the past two months.

Meanwhile, Principal Deputy Special Representative Luiz Carlos da Costa has completed a tour of judicial infrastructures and meetings with judges and lawyers in the northern city of Cap-Haitien as part of a UN initiative to help revive and strengthen the Haitian judicial sector.