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25469: (news) Chamberlain: UN-Haiti (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By NICK WADHAMS
UNITED NATIONS, June 22 (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday
voted to temporarily enlarge the peacekeeping mission in Haiti by more than
1,000 troops and police in the run-up to elections set for later this year.
The council resolution, adopted unanimously, stresses that Haiti's poll
must take place on time and that newly elected leaders assume power
according to schedule on Feb. 7, 2006.
Nearly 7,000 local and regional posts will be contested on Oct. 9, while
the election for Haiti's president and 129 legislators will take place on
Nov. 13, said the Provisional Electoral Council.
In an apparent compromise with China, the resolution extended the U.N.
mission in Haiti by eight months until Feb. 15, 2006, just a week after the
new government is to take power.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan and many members of the council had wanted
the mission extended for a year, but China, which has no diplomatic
relations with Haiti because of its ties to Taiwan, sought a six-month
The Brazilian-led U.N. mission replaced a U.S.-led force that arrived
after a three-week uprising toppled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on
Feb. 29, 2004. More than 400 people have died since September in clashes
involving pro- and anti-Aristide street gangs, police, peacekeepers and
ex-soldiers who helped oust Aristide.
The council accepted Annan's recommendation to add 800 troops to the
current limit of 6,700 soldiers. In addition, 275 more civilian police
would join the 1,622 authorized now.
The vote came as the U.N. peacekeeping chief, Jean-Marie Guehenno,
visited Haiti on Wednesday to review the mission's efforts to combat gang
violence that threatens to undermine the elections.