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UN Security Council approves sending foreign forces to Haiti

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The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to authorize the deployment of a multinational security force to Haiti, in response to the request of the Haitian government and civil society.

The force, which will be led by Kenya and supported by several Caribbean countries, will help the Haitian national police restore security and stability in the country, which has been plagued by gang violence, political turmoil and humanitarian crisis.

The resolution, adopted on Monday, October 2, 2023, allows the force to operate for one year, with a possible extension based on the situation on the ground.

The force will have a mandate to protect civilians, secure critical infrastructure and transit hubs, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to millions of Haitians in need. The force will also assist the Haitian authorities in implementing a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of the conflict, such as poverty, inequality and social exclusion.

The decision comes after months of appeals by Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who told the UN General Assembly last month that it was “urgent” that the Security Council approve a military mission to reestablish order in Haiti. He said that the country was facing a “dramatic situation” with rampant inflation, food insecurity and human rights violations. He also expressed his commitment to holding free and fair elections as soon as possible, following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also urged the international community to support the plan and to provide assistance, including personnel. He said that the US was ready to offer “robust financial and logistical assistance” and to work with Congress to allocate $100 million for the endeavor.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the resolution and praised the leadership of Kenya and the Caribbean countries in spearheading the mission. He said that the mission was a “historic” opportunity to help Haiti overcome its challenges and achieve lasting peace and development. He also called on all parties in Haiti to cooperate with the mission and to refrain from any actions that could undermine its success.

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