haitian national police

MINUSTAH Plays Key Role in Elections Leading to Presidential Inauguration

Jovenel Moïse was sworn-in last week as the 58th President of Haiti in a ceremony at the Parliament building in the presence of Haitian lawmakers and foreign dignitaries

The inauguration of President Moïse was the culmination of a long electoral process that began in August 2015. Throughout the process, our peacekeeping mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, provided critical support to both the Haitian National Police (HNP) and the Provisional Electoral Council.  

In the lead-up to the elections, MINUSTAH helped organise voter education meetings in communities around the country. The Mission also provided logistical support, including transporting electoral materials to the country’s ten departments. Its helicopters and planes were used to reach remote voting centres on a number of offshore islands.  

For months, peacekeepers with the MINUSTAH military component, alongside UN Police, have been also conducting joint patrols with the Haitian National Police in an effort to create a secure environment for the holding of elections.  
That teamwork paid off on 29 January, as Haiti held the final round of legislative and municipal elections, concluding an electoral cycle that has been delayed several times due to Hurricane Matthew and political turmoil.

MINUSTAH deployed 1,500 troops and around 2,060 police throughout the country to support the HNP in providing security for the elections. On the day of the elections, which took place in a generally peaceful environment, MINUSTAH was called upon to provide operational support to the HNP on 17 instances.  

Overall the number of incidents was assessed as quite low, considering that there were more than 1,500 voting centres across the country,” said Col. Mark Gasparotto, MINUSTAH’s Military Chief of Staff. “None of the localized incidents spread into anything larger.” 

With the completion of the electoral process, the United Nations is looking at reconfiguring its presence in Haiti, including the likely withdrawal of all military components. Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, was in Haiti last week to attend the inauguration ceremony on behalf of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and lead a strategic assessment mission for the future of the peacekeeping operation.

The United Nations “stands ready to work with the new administration,” said Mr. Ladsous. “But it will be for the UN Security council to decide on the future of MINUSTAH once its mandate runs out on 15 April 2017.”  

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