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After MINUSTAH, UN seeks to keep an armed force in Haiti in violation of Haiti's constitution

2017 04 11 Denis Regis of Haiti greets Sandra Honoré of MINUSTAH at Security Council meeting.jpg

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, April 12, 2017

The main thing you need to know about the Apr. 11 speech to the UN Security Council of Sandra Honoré, the head of the United Nations military occupation force in Haiti, is that she is not talking about a complete pull-out but a “transition.”

MINUSTAH, or the UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti, is currently composed of about 3,200 soldiers and police officers, who cost $346 million this past year. First deployed in June 2004 (supposedly for only six months), the force’s current mandate ends on Apr. 15.

In a Mar. 16 report, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres proposed that MINUSTAH be renewed for a final six-month mandate, ending Oct. 15. However, this force would be replaced by “a smaller peacekeeping operation with concentrated focus on the rule of law and police development,...[and] human rights monitoring,” Honoré said.

The new armed force would be comprised of close to 300 UN police officers to “support political stability, [and] good governance, including electoral oversight and reform,” Guterres wrote.

AP exclusive: UN child sex ring left victims but no arrests

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By Paisley Dodds, Associated Press, April 11, 2017

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker agrees. The Tennessee Republican, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been calling for reforms in the United Nations. He may well get them under President Donald Trump, whose administration has proposed a 31 percent reduction to the U.S. foreign aid and diplomacy budget. Corker and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley want a review of all missions.

Corker recalled his disgust at hearing of the U.N. sexual abuse cases uncovered last year in Central African Republic.

"If I heard that a U.N. peacekeeping mission was coming near my home in Chattanooga," he told AP, "I'd be on the first plane out of here to go back and protect my family."

Bolivia to UN: World has debt to Haiti, owes Haiti support

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By teleSUR, April 11, 2017

Bolivia's representative to the United Nations said Tuesday that the international community owed Haiti a debt and should do whatever it took to guarantee the Caribbean country all necessary support.

“As for Bolivia, support to Haiti is a priority, we owe this people a lot, not only because of the environmental disasters but also because of years of foreign intervention,” said Sacha Llorenti after a meeting of the U.N. Security Council debating the presence of U.N. troops in the country.

He also reiterated the responsibility of U.N. troops after the recent pandemic of cholera, saying “apologies are not enough, material compensation is necessary.”

Canadian-Ukrainian defence deal could open doors to weapons sales to Kyiv

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By Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International, April 5, 2017

Ukraine’s quest to get access to sophisticated Western weapons and defence technologies to fight Russian-backed rebels in the eastern part of the country got a step closer with a defence co-operation agreement signed in Ottawa earlier this week.

The bilateral deal, signed by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and his Ukrainian counterpart Stepan Poltorak on Monday, aims to identify “areas of mutual cooperation such as defence policy; defence research, development, and production; and military education.”

“Today’s signing of the Defence Cooperation Arrangement shows Canada’s steadfast commitment to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people,” Sajjan said in a statement. “It strengthens the ties between our two nations and helps us continue to develop our rich, mutually beneficial relationships.”

Prison aid to Haiti for captive slave labor

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By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post, April 4, 2017

Haiti’s incarceration rate of roughly 100 prisoners per 100,000 citizens in 2016 was the lowest in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, there is a systematic campaign underway for more prisons. Canada and Norway have each given one prison to Haiti. Thanks to prison aid from the United States, three additional prisons have been inaugurated since 2016, and another is under construction.

In the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba, the incarceration rates per 100,000 people in 2016 were 232, 350, 145, and 510, respectively. These numbers alone do not tell the whole story, because the large majority of Haiti’s prison population are pre-trial detainees, many of whom are members of Aristide’s administration, resisters against government abuses like land expropriation, or political protestors who have not been charged with a crime. If Haiti were to release them, the incarceration rate would drop to about 30 per 100,000, which is lower than in Norway, Sweden, or Japan. Furthermore, if we consider the fact that another group of incarcerated people are Haitian nationals who have lived as legal residents of the United States or Canada nearly all of their lives and committed crimes abroad, then the real incarceration rate of Haitians drops to one of the lowest in the world.

Haitian cholera victims demonstrate for MINUSTAH departure, reparations

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By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, April 1, 2017

On Mar. 29, 2017, the 30th anniversary of the popular referendum which adopted the 1987 Haitian Constitution, about 200 demonstrators rallied and marched from Port-au-Prince’s Champ de Mars to the Parliament to demand the immediate withdrawal of the United Nations Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH), reparations for the victims of MINUSTAH-imported cholera, and respect for the Constitution’s nationalist articles.

What they knew, when they knew it

Evenel Dorvilier rests on a stretcher at a cholera treatment center in Port-au-Prince in 2016. Years after the U.N. sowed cholera in Haiti, people are still contracting the disease..jpg

By Jonathan M. Katz, Slate.com, March 31, 2017

Halfway through her confirmation hearing in January, the nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, found herself navigating a river of human waste in Haiti.

Some suspected the then–president-elect had picked the South Carolina governor, who had no foreign policy experience, in order to exile a potential rival to an institution he’s derided as “a waste of time and money.” But for two and a half hours, as senators probed her on places like North Korea, Ukraine, and Israel, the nominee held her own, shoring up talking points with governor’s office banter.