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Defense Minister

Brazil and Ecuador to Help Rebuild Haitian Army

With the brutal military regime over for more than a decade and Haiti successfully transitioned into a democratic nation, President Michel Martelly is planning to create a new Haitian army to replace the U.N. troops. The president, along with the country's Defense Minister Rodolphe Joazile, has recently been able to convince neighboring countries' Brazil and Ecuador in helping on the cause. The two nations both agreed to assist Haiti by providing military training, equipment, and engineering.

Haiti's military was notorious for human rights violations and bloodshed in the 1900s. It had a strong involvement and influence in the country's politics, having the capability to overthrow presidents and government officials. One of the bloodiest movements led by the military was the 1991 coup d'état in order to remove then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from office. It took three years of bloodshed between the military and Aristide's supporters before the United States intervened and put the Aristide back as Haiti's head of state. With the help of the U.S. and the United Nations, the government was finally able to disband the military in 1995. The country has since been protected by the U.N.'s peacekeeping force.

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Brazil to Help Haiti Build a Professional Army

The Government of Haiti has asked Brazil's military to help put together armed forces, capable of assuming peacekeeping duties the UN currently provides. Haiti Minister of Defense, Jean Rodolphe Joazile, along with Brazil's Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, issued a joint statement on July 26, 2012 regarding the request. Amorim said Brazil would send military representatives to Haiti on a fact-finding visit to decide what kinds of resources Haiti would need to build their army.

Amorim pointed out assistance from Brazil is based on the stipulation Haiti train and pay their soldiers as a professional military operation. In other words, Brazil does not want a volunteer militia that can't perform the job now being handled by UN peacekeeping forces.

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