Human Rights Section of UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and UN Human Rights office 4 July published report on threats to human rights and security, including widespread impunity, lack of investigation into illegal and arbitrary arrests, inhumane prison conditions and targeting of vulnerable women and children by traffickers. Report by National Network for Defense of Human Rights NGO 29 June also highlighted govt’s failure to address growing insecurity, reported 94 people shot dead in first half 0f 2017. MINUSTAH head Sandra Honoré 18 July told UN Security Council Haiti has “remained on the path of stabilisation and democratic consolidation”. Tensions increased along border with Dominican Republic, which reported continued smuggling and trafficking of women and children and said it would adopt tougher stance against illegal Haitian immigrants; arrested and repatriated some 4,000 Haitians in second week of July alone, and reportedly turned back 140,000 during first half of 2017. U.S. court 22 June sentenced former Senator Guy Philippe to nine years’ prison on corruption charges including money laundering and accepting bribes in connection to international drug trafficking. Foreign ministry 26 July announced it would cut diplomatic missions by 66% due to budget cuts.
Without an inclusive national pact on critical priorities, President Michel Martelly faces the spectre of a failed presidency, and Haiti risks international abandonment.
The UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) needs a gradual reconfiguration of its operations prior to a withdrawal, to avoid a security vacuum and give Haiti the chance for sustainable development.
A dysfunctional justice system continues to pose significant obstacles to the democratic process in a post-earthquake Haiti where security and stability remain fragile.
Kidnapping, urban gangs and unresolved killings form a trifecta of challenges to citizen safety that the four month-old Martelly administation must confront by speedily completing reforms to professionalise the Haitian National Police(HNP).
A year and a half after a deadly earthquake devastated its capital, 650,000 victims still wait for permanent housing in more than 1,000 unstable emergency camps across Haiti as a new hurricane season arrives.
Haitian authorities and the international community need to ensure that the first post-quake elections meet acceptable standards of credibility and produce the legitimate government needed to carry through massive institutional and infrastructure reconstruction.
Originally published in Huffington Post
Presentation by Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group on “Is it time for MINUSTAH to leave Haiti?” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, DC, 25 July 2013.
Originally published in Reforma
Originally published in Miami Herald
Delayed elections, mistrust and public protests against Haitian President Michel Martelly threaten the country’s chance to end decades of political conflict and to recover from the 2010 earthquake. Without a national accord, the country risks ongoing crises. Javier Ciurlizza, Crisis Group Program Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, tells us more on the current challenges Haiti is facing.