Keeping the Peace in Haiti? New report on Minustah

Post Reply
Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Keeping the Peace in Haiti? New report on Minustah

Post by Charles Arthur » Wed Mar 23, 2005 5:57 am

[quote]March 2005 Keeping the Peace in Haiti? - Harvard Law School/Global Justice Center (Centro de Justiça Global)

A little over a year since international pressure and an armed rebellion forced the departure of President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide and the collapse of his government, Haiti is at risk of becoming a permanent failed state. The
presence of the United Nations (“U.N.”) peacekeeping force, established three months after Aristide’s controversial
ouster, has done little to establish stability, protect the populace, or curb human rights violations. This report
critiques the performance of that peacekeeping force, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
(“MINUSTAH”), by documenting its failure to effectuate not only the overriding spirit but ev
en the plain terms of
its mandate.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1542 established MINUSTAH on June 1, 2004 and endowed the mission with a
strong mandate in three principal areas: providing a secure and stable environment, particularly through
disarmament; supporting the political process and good governance in preparation for upcoming elections; and
monitoring and reporting on human rights. As this report details, MINUSTAH has made little, if any, progress on
any of these three fronts. Although partially a consequence of the slow deployment of forces and personnel,
MINUSTAH’s failures are largely the result of the timid interpretation of its mandate by its officials. Even now,
staffed in full, the peacekeeping force continues to interpret its mandate complacently and with a narrowness unfit
for the situation on the ground.

After eight months under MINUSTAH’s watch, Haiti is as insecure as ever. MINUSTAH has failed even to begin
to implement a comprehensi
ve program for disarmament, leaving large pockets of the country effectively ruled by
illegal groups with guns and other weapons. Civilian casualties remain common in Port-au-Prince’s slums, where
gangs wage daily, low-level urban warfare. Large swaths of the poor countryside remain under the control of the
former military, historically the major domestic force behind coups d’états and among the foremost violators of
human rights.

In the area of human rights, MINUSTAH has been equally lax. Numerous allegations of severe human rights abuses
by the Haitian National Police (“HNP”) remain uninvestigated. These violations span a gory spectrum, from
arbitrary arrest and detention, to disappearances and summary executions, to killing of scores of hospitalized
patients and the subsequent disposal of their bodies at mass graves. As this report details, MINUSTAH has
effectively provided cover for the police to wage a campaign of terror in Port-au-Prince’s slu
ms. Even more
distressing than MINUSTAH’s complicity in HNP abuses are credible allegations of human rights abuses
perpetrated by MINUSTAH itself, as documented in this report. MINUSTAH, however, has virtually ignored these
allegations as well, relegating them to obscurity and thus guaranteeing that abuses go uncorrected. In short, instead
of following the specific prescription of its mandate by putting an end to impunity in Haiti, MINUSTAH’s failures
have ensured its continuation.

The MINUSTAH mandate provides ample ground for a robust approach to security, disarmament and human rights.
Indeed, as set forth in this report, its mandate requires a serious and active commitment to furthering peace in Haiti.
Although the MINUSTAH mission has virtually squandered eight critical months, the time is not yet too late to
begin an earnest application of its mandate. We continue to believe MINUSTAH holds tremendous promise to help
Haiti achieve peace, stability and respect
for human rights. With elections slated for the end of 2005, the time is
now for MINUSTAH to commit itself to rigorous enforcement of its mandate.[/quote]

The full report can be read at :

Résumé du rapport final:

Post Reply