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Brazil Reinforces Presence in Haiti with 850 Troops

A force comprising 209 soldiers from various Army units in Northeast Brazil embarked for Haiti yesterday, May 23, from the Recife air base. They will be part of the fifth Brazilian contingent composing the United Nations (UN) peace force in that country.

The force will join another 58 Brazilian military officers who left for Haiti on Friday, May 19. The fifth contingent is composed of 850 troops.

Three more embarkations are scheduled to occur between now and June 4. The entire group, which will be engaged in the protection of the population and the security of government officials, underwent a rigorous training program that began this January.

Haiti faces problems of violence, mainly involving armed gangs. In February, two years after the departure of the ousted president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, the population elected the current president, René Préval, to govern the country. The UN peace mission, however, was maintained.

ABr

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