The announcement of the name of the next general in charge of the United Nations (UN) military forces in Haiti depends solely on administrative and operational procedures, says the current commander of the UN Peace Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Brazilian General Augusto Heleno Pereira.
“The Ministry of Defense has already chosen the Brazilian general who will take my place. The general should go to UN headquarters, where he will take some tests, and then his name will be announced,” Pereira says.
According to the Army’s center of social communication, the officer nominated by the Ministry of Defense is Major General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar. The nomination, however, still has to be approved by the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
General Pereira’s contract to remain in Haiti terminated on May 31, but he will not abandon the command until the new general takes over. “I was told that the replacement should take place at the end of August. Then I want to return to Brazil,” he said.
According to a UN Security Council resolution, a temporary reinforcement contingent of 750 additional troops should be sent to Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti as well as one of its most violent regions.
The unit will constitute the capital’s new general headquarters and will be responsible for controlling disturbances and guaranteeing security during the elections scheduled for the end of this year.
Another group of 50 military personnel will be sent to work in the coordination of the activities of the mission. According to General Pereira, the Brazilian military contingent will not change. “We have 1200 soldiers in Haiti. The new troops should come from countries like Jordan, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines,” he said.
The MINUSTAH was installed in Haiti in June of last year with the mission of ensuring the country’s social and political stability after the ouster of ex-President Jean Bertrand Aristide, in February, 2004.