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25636: (news) Chamberlain: UN-Haiti (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By NICK WADHAMS
UNITED NATIONS, July 8 (AP) -- Canada cannot send more peacekeepers to
Haiti right now, the ambassador said Friday, after U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan suggested he may call on Ottawa or Paris to send more troops for
Annan had told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on June 28 that
he might seek more aggressive troops for Haiti, where peacekeepers are
trying to counter a wave of shootings and kidnappings that could threaten
elections set for later this year.
Officials with knowledge of the meeting said Annan and Rice had agreed
that the French or the Canadians would be able to do a good job. Rice then
offered to lobby those two governments if he made the request.
So far, Annan has not done so publicly. But Canada's U.N. Ambassador
Allan Rock told The Associated Press on Friday that Canada would not be
able to send more troops right now. It has about 100 police and troops in
Haiti as well as about 950 peacekeepers in Afghanistan.
"Canada is not in a position to provide additional forces at this very
moment" because of its commitments in Haiti and Afghanistan, Rock told The
A spokesman at the French mission refused to comment on whether Paris
would contribute more troops. France has 81 police and troops on the Haiti
In late June, the U.N. Security Council voted to beef up the Brazil-led
peacekeeping force in Haiti by about 1,000 troops and police in the runup
to elections set for later this year. That would bring its force to well
The 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.
On Wednesday, more than 400 U.N. peacekeepers stormed into a slum in the
Haitian capital Port-au-Prince as part of the efforts to halt violence by
loyalists of Aristide. At least two men were killed, officials said.
A powerful pro-Aristide gang leader, Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme, was among
those killed, according to local radio reports.