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UN MISSION TO HAITI

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UN MISSION TO HAITI

WHY IN NEWS ?

  • Recently, Haiti approached the United Nations seeking urgent help to combat deadly gang violence.

ABOUT UN MISSION TO HAITI:

  • The UNSC approved a yearlong multinational security mission for Haiti, led by Kenya, aimed at cracking down on rampant gang violence that has unraveled life for many on the Caribbean nation.
  • The 15-member Council voted to authorize a mission that would guard critical infrastructure such as airports, ports, schools, hospitals and key traffic intersections, and carry out “targeted operations”.
  • The resolution says that the force will provide “operational support” to the Haitian National Police, including building its capacity to counter gangs, improve security conditions in the country and secure ports, airports and critical intersections.
  • Notably, the resolution adds that the forces will have the authority to make arrests in coordination with Haitian police.
  • Kenya has pledged at least 1,000 security personnel, and several other nations are expected to offer other resources.
  • Gangs aligned with political parties have strengthened their grip on the country since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
  • No municipal, legislative or parliamentary elections have been held in years, creating a power vacuum.
  • One goal of the Kenyan-led mission is to create the conditions for a safe election.

NEED OF AN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY MISSION :

  • Haiti is wracked by violence that has escalated to unprecedented levels.

  • The UN says that some 200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes because it’s just too dangerous to remain.
  • Sexual violence and abuse against women and girls is on the rise, and tens of thousands of children are unable to attend school due to insecurity.
  • Haiti’s military is small and only modestly equipped.
  • The Haitian National Police (HNP) is unable to fully contain the outbreak of violence and needs international support so that Haitians can return to a situation where they can go about their daily lives without the fear of being murdered, displaced, kidnapped, or raped.

WHAT LED TO DELAY IN  MISSION?

  • A major sticking point has always been which country would step forward to lead what could be a very complicated and risky mission.
  • Haiti’s troubled past with foreign military interventions is being viewed as the primary reason for the delay in deployment.
  • Moreover, countries were wary of lending support to PM Henry who doesn’t enjoy the popular support of Haitians.
  • The last time a force was sent to stabilise Haiti was in 2004 when former Haitian President Jean­ Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a rebellion.
  • This was followed by a UN peacekeeping mission which went on from 2004 to 2017.
  • The mission was marred by allegations during its deployment in the country.
  • A sewage runoff from a peacekeeper camp was blamed for causing a cholera epidemic which saw more than 10,000 deaths.

WHAT TYPE OF OPERATION WILL IT BE ?

  • It’s important to note that the security mission will not be a UN operation, unlike MINUSTAH, the UN peacekeeping mission to Haiti, which ended in 2017.
  • Prime Minister Henry has asked for the “robust support” of police and military personnel to support the HNP.
  • He added that this support was “indispensable to defeat the gangs, re-establish order and create an environment for the proper functioning of the State”.
  • President Ruto of Kenya said the mission, which could include 1,000 Kenyan personnel, would be “well-resourced and effective”.

WHY IS KENYA LEADING THE MISSION?

  • Kenya has a history of sending peacekeepers to volatile countries and offered to send 1,000 personnel to Haiti in July.

  • Analysts say apart from helping stabilise Haiti, Kenya stands to gain from sending its forces to Port-au-Prince.

Apart from that the mission creates several opportunities for Kenya, like:

  • Kenyan law enforcement agencies will get specialised training and equipment before they are sent.
  • Mission will also improve the capacity of the force in the long term.
  • Obviously, there are financial incentives.
  • Resources are allocated to participating countries.
  • Troops will also be given extra allowance, which is why there is high interest from officers for foreign deployments

ROLE OF UN:

  • The UN Security Council is due to meet to develop the framework for and authorize this non-UN mission.
  • The 15-members of the Council will consider approving what is known as a Chapter VII provision of the UN Charter that authorizes the use of force after all other measures to maintain international peace and security are exhausted.
  • UN is also supporting national authorities and public institutions in restoring long-term sustainable development gains.
  • Moreover it also includes strengthening an inclusive economy and the administration of justice, ensuring the delivery of and access to basic social services and improving the management of multidimensional risks.

WAY FORWARD:

  • A political mission, known by its French acronym, BINUH, continues to support government efforts to strengthen political stability and good governance, including the rule of law.
  • UN agencies are also providing immediate humanitarian aid to Haitians affected by violence, insecurity and natural disasters such as the August 2021 earthquake.

SYLLABUS: MAINS, GS-2, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

SOURCE: THE HINDU , UN.ORG

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