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25496: Wharram - news - U.N.: Haiti Peacekeepers Should Stay (fwd)
From Bruce Wharram <email@example.com>
U.N.: Haiti Peacekeepers Should Stay
Sunday, June 26, 2005
CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti ? Haiti will need U.N. peacekeepers for several years as
the impoverished nation struggles to rebuild its ill-equipped police force
after the bloody uprising that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
(search) last year, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said Saturday.
The U.N. Security Council last week extended a year-old peacekeeping
mission's mandate for another eight months, but the volatile nation will
need their presence for longer, said Jean-Marie Guehenno (search), the U.N.
undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations.
"Haiti will need peacekeepers beyond the present mandate, there's no
question about that," Guehenno said in an interview with The Associated
Press aboard a U.N. flight from this northern city to the capital of
Port-au-Prince (search). "Haiti will need peacekeepers so long as there's
not a credible, effective police and judiciary."
Guehenno, wrapping up a five-day visit to evaluate peacekeeping efforts,
said troops would be needed while the U.N. helps revamp a police force prone
to corruption and outnumbered by armed street gangs, a process he said would
take "a few years."
"There's no quick fix," he said. "Rebuilding the police is not going to
happen in three months, or six months or even a year. These efforts take
Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, has about 4,000 police officers
for a population of 8 million. Experts estimate the country needs up to 10
Guehenno urged nations with peacekeepers in Haiti "to stay the course" and
called on wealthier countries and humanitarian groups to come through with
more financial aid and workers.
Foreign donors last year pledged more than $1 billion in development aid,
but only a fraction of the funds have been disbursed to date, a delay blamed
on bureaucracy and a shortage of properly vetted projects.
© Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Copyright 2005 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved.