What to expect without the military presence of the United Nations?

Haiti is preparing to take the reins

Haiti is preparing to take the reins

Leer en Español: ¿Qué esperar sin la intervención militar de las Naciones Unidas?

The United Nation’s Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti, MINUSTAH, concluded last week after 13 years. The assignment helped one of the poorest country on the American continent. However, its work was filled with scandals that made the organization have a bad reputation within said society. Due to this, the UN established a new plan, MINUJUSTH, to support the peace process within the country made up of only policemen and civilians. They will fulfill an exclusive mandate to accompany the police.

For the UN, one of the great priorities will be to continue to strengthen the rule of law, democracy, and credibility in the institutions. "It is critical to create a framework that attracts investment," says Sandra Honoré, director of MINUJUSTH, while emphasizing the need to create jobs that keep young people in the country.

For Honoré, young Haitian professionals leave Haiti for lack of opportunities; many of them end up in the Dominican Republic or in the United States.

For the United Nations delegate, Haiti is a different place than what it was thirteen years ago, "the country is in the capacity to assume responsibility and the reins. However, it still needs the international community to consolidate itself as state", Honoré explained to various journalists. Despite these declarations, society is divided due to the departure of the mission of peace.

For the United Nations, rebuilding the Armed Forces is a sovereign decision of Haiti, but it should not leave the National Police without the necessary resources, since the international organization has worked in its professionalization since they arrived back in 2004.

But the military presence of the UN will not be well remembered due to the outbreak of cholera that affected the country and left a balance of 8,000 dead. As well as reports of sexual abuse that were only recently accepted.

The Caribbean country will now face one of the greatest challenges in its history, because, although the UN withdrew the largest peacekeeping mission in the Americas, stability is not 100% certain. For the director of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH), Pierre Esperance, the current government has no concern for human rights, which makes it difficult for society to feel at ease.

According to the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, the country is in the capacity to respond to the challenges of the departure of the blue helmets. Although the decision to establish the military is not very well accepted, it will have to demonstrate that only positive things will come from it.

According to Canadian political scientist Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, of the University of Birmingham, the blue helmets left a sensation of international invasion among the Haitians, reason why their exit is seen in a positive action.  

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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