19 days in charge of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah), Brazilian general Urano Bacellar says he found the country in “a substantially calm situation,” compared with what the country experienced over the past year.
Following the fall of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the Minustah arrived in the country for the purpose of guaranteeing stability and aiding in political reconciliation and the resumption of development.
“A situation of reasonable stability and security was established by the Minustah military force and the actions of the mission as a whole throughout the country,” Bacellar commented.
Nevertheless, he indicated some areas in which security is more critical, such as the region of Cité-Soleil, Cité-Militaire, and Show de Gost. “We are making considerable progress in Bel Air, where the situation is much more stable than in the other areas.”
The mission is also expected to ensure the security of the electoral process. The first round of elections is scheduled for November 15. A second round will be held, if necessary, on December 18.
According to Bacellar, provision is being made to increase the number of troops in the region. “We are awaiting the arrival of a full battalion from Jordan, with around 750 men, and we shall also receive another 200 troops from Sri Lanka and 200 more from a country that has yet to be determined,” he said.
The mission is currently composed of 7,500 military personnel and 1,897 police. Brazil accounts for the largest contingent, around 1,200 military personnel, including officers, sergeants, and soldiers.
Bacellar met Monday, September 19, with the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim. Amorim is visiting Haiti to recommend that the electoral schedule be maintained and that everybody participate in the electoral process.