UN Extends Mission in Haiti. Brazil Vows to Stay.

The UN Security Council has voted to extend its Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which is led by a Brazilian general, for another six months.

MINUSTAH originally set up to bring some order to the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country after its elected President, Jean Bertrand Aristide, was overthrown in February 2004. MINUSTAH was supposed to terminate its mission after elections took place.

General elections finally took place last week in Haiti (after being postponed a number of times due to continuing disorder). But the vote count has still not been concluded.

There is a possibility of a need for a runoff election to decide who will be the next president. In light of those facts, the UN Security Council decided it was prudent to keep its stabilization force in the country.

UN country-members who have troops in MINUSTAH are free to decide if they want to remain. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently stated that he intends to keep Brazilian troops in Haiti until there is a new government and it is "consolidated."

At the moment there are more than 9,500 soldiers and policemen in Haiti as part of MINUSTAH. Approximately 1,200 are Brazilian soldiers.



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