UN Multinational Force In Haiti: What Is It And How Does It Work?

The UN Security Council approved yesterday Monday to deploy the multinational force in Haiti for one year to confront the crisis .

United Nations Conference

Photo: UN

Javier Otazu | EFE

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Leer en español: Fuerza multinacional de la ONU en Haití: ¿de qué se trata y cómo funciona?

The UN Security Council approved this Monday the deployment for one year (extendable) of a multinational force to assist the Haitian Police , a request that comes a year after it was requested by the Haitian Government itself and immediately supported by Secretary General António Guterres.

The resolution was approved by 13 votes in favor and two abstentions (Russia and China), without any dissenting vote among the 15 members of the Council, something rare in recent times of great geopolitical division.

In any case, Council sources told EFE that an immediate deployment cannot be expected, but rather that this process will take "several months" before agents begin patrolling the streets of Haiti.

The resolution came forward after a long month in which the draft prepared by the United States and Ecuador circulated, with the most difficult negotiations in the part of the limitation of arms sales to the country, which China wanted to be as extensive as possible and the United States The US advocated limiting certain known criminal gangs, Council sources told EFE.

A senior US official explained to the press this Monday that one of the achievements of this resolution was to strengthen sanctions against "negative actors who are inciting street violence and other acts of destabilization" , in reference to gang leaders , some with enormous effective power and perfectly known, such as the famous "Barbecue".

Latin American reluctance to contribute troops

It is known that the mission of about a thousand agents will be led by Kenya, which will provide most of the contingent, and several Caribbean countries -including Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas- have also shown themselves willing to contribute agents, in numbers to be determined.

Contrary to the Caribbean, it is striking that no Latin American country has taken a step forward in this regard, although Mexico clarified that it has contributed in its own way by agreeing to train 660 agents on its soil (550 already trained and 110 currently in process).

Read also: Crisis in Haiti: a Political, Human Rights and Security Problem

The same attitude is going to be adopted by Brazil, Brazilian sources told EFE, who ruled out sending agents on the ground despite the country's global diplomatic ambitions.

The American source was convinced that once the resolution was approved and that countries see that it contains "strong language", more countries will take the step and will be able to join the project even with troops, especially within the "Western world."

Specifically, they cited the case of Canada and France, which have shown their willingness to be more involved, after verifying that the resolution makes the terms of the deployment clear.

To make its commitment clear, the US Government is going to provide two items of 100 million dollars each, from the Department of State and the Department of Defense, provided that Congress approves it, destined for the logistical needs of the mission.

Police mission, not blue helmets

The Secretary General specified from the beginning that his call to form a force for Haiti would need the support of the Security Council to have international legitimacy, but he ruled out that it was an interposition mission or typical blue helmets, given the tragic experience that left the last mission of that type.

In 2017, MINUSTAH withdrew its interposition mission in Haiti after 13 years and in the midst of a major scandal when it was proven that its members were responsible for a water spill that caused a cholera outbreak that killed more than 7,000 Haitians.

That, added to the accusations of sexual abuse, left the image of the UN seriously affected for a long time, so the deployment of a similar mission was outright ruled out.

The force that is now deployed will be exclusively of a police nature and will be placed under the orders of the Haitian Police.

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