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UN Peacekeeping Chief Leaves On Five-Day Trip

UN Peacekeeping Chief Leaves On Five-Day Trip To Haiti Tomorrow

New York, Jun 21 2005

The United Nations peacekeeping chief leaves tomorrow for a five-day trip to Haiti, during which he will review the situation with senior officials of the UN mission there, a UN spokeswoman said today.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno will return on Sunday, Marie Okabe said.

The trip comes just after the latest violent incident in the poor districts around the capital, Port-au-Prince, last Friday when two Peruvian soldiers in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were shot and wounded , one seriously, in Cité Soleil.

Late last week, too, a peacekeeper, two Haitian Red Cross volunteers and another Haitian civilian were wounded – one severely – when unknown gunmen opened fire on the group in front of a hospital, also in Cité Soleil.

Two Sri Lankan peacekeepers were wounded on 2 June when the armoured personnel carrier in which they were travelling came under fire and in April a Philippine peacekeeper was killed.

According to Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report to the Security Council last month, nearly 500 prisoners were illegally released from jail in February and nearly 100 have been recaptured. With scores of prisoners still at large, the security situation has deteriorated, even though MINUSTAH has taken back some police stations that had been occupied by armed gangs.

ENDS


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