UN to reduce its occupation force in Haiti

MINUSTAH has more than 8,700 soldiers and 3,500 police in the French-speaking Caribbean country. Its mandate expires October 15.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Monday September 19, 2011 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced plans to discuss with the Haitian government, the gradual reduction of MINUSTAH’s peacekeeping force in the country.

This follows violent protests about a sexual assault on an 18 year old resident, allegedly by five Uruguayan peacekeepers who left the country on Friday.

In a broadcast, Ban apologized for the incident, which he termed “totally unacceptable.”

While he praised MINUSTAH’s contribution to the country since 2004, he said he also understands the frustrations of the Haitian people.

MINUSTAH has more than 8,700 soldiers and 3,500 police in the French-speaking Caribbean country. Its mandate expires October 15.

Meantime, the Haitian Senate will vote Tuesday on the nomination of Garry Conille for the post of prime minister.

Conill, who received part of his education in Haiti, was unanimously approved by the lower house on Friday.

The 45-year-old advisor to ex-US president Bill Clinton was the third candidate nominated by President Michel Martelly, who is still seeking to put his government in place, more than four months after being elected.

The two previous candidates- businessman Daniel-Gerard Rouzier and legal scholar Bernard Gousse, were rejected by legislators.

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