Friday, 10 August 2012 10:38
Just two months before the planned withdrawal of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in October, a new report has recommended an extended stay of up to five years for the controversial peacekeeping forces.
The report, called "Towards a Post-MINUSTAH Haiti: Making an Effective Transition," from the International Crisis Group advocates for a phased withdrawal of MINUSTAH forces, and a refocus from security to "consolidating the stability needed to foster economic development and improve governance."
"MINUSTAH and the Haitian government need to work together in the next five years to form a shared vision on how to create the conditions for the mission's departure," said Bernice Robertson, Crisis Group's Haiti Senior Analyst. "Haiti still needs support to guarantee security and political stability, but MINUSTAH will only be as effective as the government allows it to be."
Recommended collaborations include reforms supporting more community police units and a new superior judiciary council. Regarding the pending launch of a renewed Haitian army however, the report argued to "put on hold the reconstitution of the army until these goals are met."
"The only real exit strategy for MINUSTAH is Haiti becoming more secure, more stable and better able to meet the needs of its citizens," said Mark Schneider, Crisis Group's Senior Vice-President.
The recommended expended stay however may not receive popular support, due to recent controversies surrounding the UN forces, from human rights abuse violations to the UN's probable but accidental introduction of Haiti' deadly cholera epidemic. In addition, the president's efforts to reinstate the army have received financial support recently from both Brazil and Ecuador.