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Haiti: UN Extends Mandate Amid Insecurity

Haiti: UN Mandate Extended Amid Political, Economic, Humanitarian Insecurity

New York, Oct 14 2008 1:10PM

The Security Council today extended the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) through mid-October 2009, recognizing the impact that the civil disturbances in April and the current devastating hurricane season have had on the country’s stability and security.

By a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council decided to maintain the mission’s troop strength at 7,060, along with a police component of 2,091, as Haiti’s stabilization process suffered significant setbacks in the last year.

“The continued deployment of MINUSTAH also remains indispensable. As was clear during the April riots, the mission security components continue to play a critical role in ensuring the country’s stability,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in August in the most recent of his regular reports on Haiti.

Six days of increasingly violent demonstrations in early April, sparked by growing public frustration at the rapid escalation of food prices, led to formal censure of the Government.

The Caribbean nation’s stability was further rocked by the prolonged political difficulties in reaching agreement on a new Prime Minister and Government, leaving the country without a functioning administration for four months.

In its resolution the Security Council welcomed the recent formation of the Government of Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis, while encouraging “all relevant Haitian political, social and economic actors to strengthen democratic dialogue and forge the widest and most inclusive possible consensus.”

The resolution also urged the international community to continue its support for Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, in the face of the humanitarian, economic and social crisis caused by the continuing rising global food prices, as well as the destruction left by the four back-to-back tropical storms that battered Haiti from mid-August to mid-September.

The text welcomed the imminent deployment of MINUSTAH’s 16 maritime patrol boats in support of the Haitian National Police’s Coast Guard and also encouraged MINUSTAH to implement recommendations made in the Secretary-General’s report regarding prison overcrowding.

ENDS

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