UN to boost police numbers in Haiti

By CHIP News Service

An article published in the French-language Montreal daily La Presse last week reports on a unanimous vote by the United Nations Security Council on June 4 to send an additional 680 police officers to Haiti in the framework of the MINUSTAH mission. The article is by the French news agency, Agence France de presse, and can be read on this website here: http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/node/390.

The article says MINUSTAH forces will now number 8,940 soldiers and 4,391 police.

The stated reason for the increased police deployment is to assist the Haitian National Police in bringing "stability" to Haiti. It says additional police will be needed during national elections to take place later this year and during the period of transition to a new government, now foreseen to take place in May 2011. In recent months in Haiti, there has been a rise in popular protests against an ineffective international earthquake relief effort and an increasingly authoritarian UN/Haitian governing regime.

UN forces have assisted Haitian National Police in cordoning off protests and sometimes attacking them. Witness the tear gas attack against students on May 24 by MINUSTAH soldiers after they illegally entered the grounds of the state university in order to arrest a student leader of protests. You can read a report on that event here: http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/node/377.

The following day, as reported on Interpress by Ansel Hertz, UN forces attacked a political rights demonstration: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=51581.