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Mitchell urges UN to approve multi-national force for Haiti

Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell.

Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell.

By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

Tribune Staff Reporter

lmunnings@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell said Haiti is facing a “humanitarian crisis” as he urged the United Nations Security Council to urgently approve a multi-national force to help with security.

In August, the Davis administration reiterated its commitment to sending 150 officers to Haiti to provide technical assistance and training to the Haitian National Police.

The commitment came after Kenya said it would send 1,000 police officers to lead the multi-national force. A condition for sending troops is that the United Nations Security Council pass a resolution establishing a multi-national force.

“The Western world owes Haiti and the Haitian people, and we must fight to help them resolve their issues,” Mr Mitchell said while addressing the United Nations 78th General Assembly Meeting.

“The security situation in Haiti today is untenable. I thank all the governments in both the developed world, the United States and Canada and in CARICOM, for their work in trying to resolve the political and security issues there.

“I urge the people of Haiti, especially the leaders of Haiti today, to do all that they can to continue to work toward a Haitian-led political settlement and it will take compromise to do so.

“Mr President, this is a humanitarian crisis in our region, which the UN has received many humanitarian pledges that can barely meet the on-the-ground humanitarian needs of the Haitian people.

“We must approve with haste a UN Security Council-backed resolution on a multi-national force for Haiti.”

Murder, rapes, and kidnapping have soared in Haiti during the recent crisis.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has called for a “specialised armed force” from other countries to help.

However, after a recent trip to Haiti earlier this month, CARICOM’S Eminent Persons Group said the path towards elections has hardened because some stakeholders have called for the resignation of Haiti’s prime minister.

Between 1994 and 1996, 141 defence force officers conducted security operations in Haiti as part of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.