Haiti urges UN to keep troop presence ahead of crucial elections

The Haitian government is worried the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will cut its troop presence before critical elections are held this year. When envoys from the U.S. and Chile visited the island, newly-appointed Public Safety Minister Pierre-Richard Casmir pressed them ". . . not reduce the number of MINUSTAH troops during the electoral process" He emphasized troops were needed to stabilize the country while preparations were being made to hold elections. To strengthen his argument to keep the present troop level intact, Casmir referred to UNSC Resolution 2180, stating the UN must adjust its troop presence to the situation at hand.


UNSC President and Chile Envoy, Christian Barros Melet, remarked it was premature for the global organization to decide if they would comply with Casmir's request. U.S. Envoy Samantha Power observed the Haitian National Police had increased its force and made other improvements as well. Last October the UNSC renewed the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti for another year, but cut troop force 50% to 2,370 soldiers because security conditions of Haiti had seen improvement.

A developing political crisis over delayed elections has brought the government to a virtual standstill. Parliament was disbanded in early January, former Prime Minister Lamothe was replaced by Evans Paul, and President Martelly is ruling by decree. But in spite of the constitutional crisis Casmir insists ". . . the Haitian government was taking all necessary measures to ensure the elections go smoothly."

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