U.N. set to trim Haiti peacekeeping force
Bernadine Sifoir, 7, front, sits while she poses for pictures at Gaston Margon camp, a camp for people displaced by the 2010 earthquake, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP / Dieu Nalio Chery)
Published Friday, October 12, 2012 3:36PM EDT
The U.N. Security Council on Friday voted unanimously to renew its controversial mission in Haiti for a year, but with a pared down force.
The council reduced the mission's force levels by 15 per cent to 6,270 troops, by gradually withdrawing some infantry and engineering personnel, and reduced the police by 20 per cent to 2,601, in line with recommendations by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The resolution stresses that building up the Haitian national police force is a key priority.
The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti arrived in 2004, following the ouster of then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and has helped provide stability since.
But tensions fester between the peacekeepers and some Haitians.
Health officials say a unit of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal likely introduced cholera to Haiti in October 2010. Cholera has infected more than 588,000 Haitians and killed 7,500.
In March, judges from a Pakistani military tribunal came to Haiti to try two Pakistani peacekeepers, who were found guilty of raping a boy in the northern city of Gonaives in January. The two soldiers were discharged and sentenced to a year of jail in Pakistan.
Six Uruguayan peacekeepers were accused of raping a 19-year-old Haitian man this year.