|Army to return, with support from Brazil and Ecuador|
|Friday, 03 August 2012 09:17|
A new Haitian army may be imminent following pledged financial and technical support from the governments of Brazil and Ecuador. The controversial army, which has been a major goal of President Michel Martelly, aims eventually to take over the country's security from current UN peacekeeping forces.
Both Ecuador officials and representatives from the Brazilian Defense Ministry have pledged to supply whatever support is needed for Haiti to reinstate the national army. Officials from Haiti and Brazil's Defense Ministry have forged an agreement. A Brazilian military team is already scheduled to go to Haiti in the upcoming weeks to evaluate conditions.
President Martelly has heavily campaigned for Brazilian and Ecuadorian support during his official visits to the two countries. A longtime campaign promise of Martelly, the reinstatement of the Haitian army has been delayed due to much protests and criticisms from international organizations and human rights groups. Critics point to the terrible atrocities committed by the army in the past, including the violent 1991 coup when former President Jean Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by the army.
In addition, both U.S. and UN officials have denied funding for an army, concerned that an army would take away resources from developing the national police force.
Haiti's Defense Minister Rodolphe Joazile however assured the public that the project to reinstate that army will not affect current overhaul the National Police of Haiti (HNP).
"President Martelly's plan is clear," says Minister Joazile. "It focuses on the reinforcement of the police, the setting up of the new force and a progressive and orderly withdrawal of UN troops," he said.
|Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 09:33|