Brazilian General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, commander of the United Nations Peace Forces in Haiti, declared that the UN Security Council’s decision to extend the mission another six months will not affect what is being done in the country.
“This time, despite some countries’ requests for this period to be enlarged to eighteen months, the prospects for a six-month renewal were already strong,” the commander remarked in an interview with the Agência Brasil.
“In the field, this political decision has no greater implications. We don’t believe that the mission can be concluded in six months. We shall continue to work as if it were ten years.”
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself called for the mission in Haiti to be extended for another 18 months. This périod would coincide with the completion of the country’s electoral process.
Elections are scheduled to take place in November, 2005, and the new President’s swearing-in, for February, 2006.
In Monday’s (November 29) resolution, the Council expressed its future intention to renew the mission for further periods and reaffirmed the urgency of the process of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration.
A condemnation was issued for “acts of violence and the intentions of some small, armed groups to exercise unauthorized public law and order functions.”
In the view of this important UN organ, the key to stability and security in Haiti lies in political reconciliation and economic reorganization.
The resolution counseled the command of the mission to continue to pursue every means possible to draw into the democratic and electoral process all those who rejected the use of violence during the transition.
The Council also endorsed the UN Secretary-General’s recommendation calling on donor countries and international financial institutions to keep the promises made on Haiti’s behalf three months ago in Washington.
Brazil has been in command of the UN Peace Forces in Haiti since May of this year, months after President Jean Bertrand Aristide was ousted. The peace mission has a deployment of approximately 4.7 thousand men, 1.2 thousand of them Brazilians.
General Ribeiro believes that the total contingent will reach 6.1 thousand by the end of December.
“The tendency is for our presence to be evident and capable of keeping the situation secure and stable,” the mission commander affirmed.
Translator: David Silberstein