Above: UN peacekeepers in Haiti (UN Photo/Jesus Serrano Redondo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to extend the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti until mid-October of 2014.
The unanimous vote also slightly reduced the mission’s troop levels, with up to 5,021 troops, along with a police component of 2,601 people.
MINUSTAH’s mission currently includes 6,233 troops and 2,457 police.
“Given recent achievements and the evolution of the challenges facing Haiti, the ongoing reconfiguration of MINUSTAH should continue,” Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a recent report on MINUSTAH. “Nine years after its initial deployment, it is worth examining whether a large multidimensional peacekeeping operation is still the most appropriate form of international support to Haiti.”
Ban said he would engage with Haiti’s government and UN Member States to “explore the best way for the UN to continue contributing to the country’s stability and development.”
That could include the replacement of MINUSTAH with a “smaller, more focused assistance mission,” Ban said.
In its resolution, the Security Council said modifications to the troop configuration should be done by “taking into account the importance of maintaining a secure and stable environment and the impact of social and political realities on Haiti’s stability and security.”
The Security Council also urged Haiti to “work cooperatively” to hold long-delayed legislative elections in the country.