The Security Council
established the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) by its
1063 (1996) of 28 June 1996. In setting up UNSMIH, the Council underlined
the need to support the commitment of the Government of Haiti to maintain
the secure and stable environment established by the multinational force
in Haiti (September 1994--March 1995) and extended with the assistance
of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH)
(September 1993--30 June 1996).
In the report, the Secretary-General made a number of recommendations regarding the role of the United Nations in Haiti after UNMIH's mandate expired. He shared the view of the Haitian authorities that the presence and assistance of the international community continued to be required in Haiti to support HNP and to consolidate the progress achieved by the Haitian people after the restoration of democracy. The Friends of the Secretary-General for Haiti -- Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, the United States and Venezuela -- also expressed their support for the position of the Haitian authorities and their interest in adjusting the operations of the United Nations to reflect the new realities on the ground.
The Secretary-General therefore recommended the establishment of a new Mission -- UNSMIH -- with a mandate limited to the following tasks: (a) assistance to the Haitian authorities in the professionalization of the Haitian National Police; (b) assistance to the Haitian authorities in maintaining a secure and stable environment conducive to the success of the current efforts to establish and train an effective national police force; and (c) coordination of activities by the United Nations system to promote institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation in Haiti.
In establishing UNSMIH, the Security Council decided that the Mission would initially be composed of 300 civilian police personnel and 600 troops. In addition, some 800 voluntarily funded military personnel were to be provided by Member States to serve with UNSMIH. UNSMIH's initial mandate period extended until 30 November 1996.
The UNSMIH military element was deployed exclusively in the city of Port-au-Prince, which it patrolled on a 24-hour basis. The mission's helicopters played a critical role on several occasions, both in ensuring the timely arrival of HNP crowd-control units - known as Compagnies d'intervention et de maintien de l'ordre (CIMOs) - at trouble spots around the country and in delivering voting material required for the senatorial and local elections. In addition, members of the military element worked with the staff of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) and the technical assistance team of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to plan the logistical and operational support for the first round of elections. UNSMIH military personnel also provided protection at the National Palace and at the residence of former President Aristide.
Members of the UNSMIH
civilian police element were deployed in 10 detachments in the provinces
and 5 in Port-au-Prince and they continued to accompany HNP officers in
their day-to-day activities. The team collected information around the
country on experience with community policing, with a view to developing
a country-wide police training programme. The central training unit of
In light of the continuing disturbances in the country, UNSMIH worked intensively to strengthen the HNP crowd-control and rapid-intervention capabilities. The Mission's police element also continued to work closely with the HNP Directorate General in redeploying the force according to population density and patterns of criminal behaviour, but progress was slow. The Mission continued to participate in the monthly meetings, chaired by President Préval, with the Directorate General, key government members, bilateral donors, UNDP and the Joint Organization of African States (OAS)/United Nations International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH).
On 13 November 1997, the President of Haiti, Mr. René Préval, requested the extension of the UNSMIH mandate. The Secretary-General, in his report to the Security Council on 12 November, noted that despite some improvement in the security situation in Haiti and in the capacity of HNP to confront challenges, HNP had not yet reached the level of experience and confidence required to control and defeat threats posed by subversive groups. The presence of the UNSMIH military element continued to be a key factor in the ability of the Haitian authorities to contain the danger of destabilization by forces threatening democracy. In the Secretary-General's view, the presence of UNSMIH continued to be required to give the international programme of support the firm foundation necessary to ensure its success, to allow for an orderly transfer to the Haitian authorities of the functions being carried out by the Mission, and to consolidate the considerable investment made by the international community in the restoration of democracy in Haiti.
The Security Council decided by its resolution 1086 (1996) to extend UNSMIH's mandate until 31 May 1997 with a maximum strength of 300 civilian police personnel and 500 troops. The Council also decided that, if the Secretary-General reported by 31 March 1997 that UNSMIH could make a further contribution to the consolidation of democracy in Haiti and the revitalization of the country's system of justice, UNSMIH's mandate would be further extended, for a final time, following a review by the Council. On 24 March, the Secretary-General reported to the Security Council that in order to ensure the continued institutional development of the police force, the mandate of UNSMIH should be extended for a final time until 31 July 1997. Based on that Secretary-General's statement, the Council extended the UNSMIH's mandate, for a final period, until 31 July 1997.
Reporting to the
Security Council on 19 July 1997, the Secretary-General said that with
the support of the international community, including the United Nations,
Haiti had taken significant strides forward. For the first time in its
history, a peaceful hand-over of power between two democratically elected
However, the Secretary-General
continued, Haiti continues to face daunting political and economic challenges.
In the short term, a new cabinet must be formed and the electoral crisis
overcome to allow Parliament and local assemblies to function effectively.
Reforms needed to strengthen democratic institutions, generate economic
growth and create jobs require a basic consensus among Haitians
According to the report, UNDP had begun strengthening its office in Haiti in order to support national development efforts better and to be ready to assume additional institution-building tasks until then carried out by UNSMIH and MICIVIH. It signed an agreement with the Government of Haiti that aimed to increase the absorptive capacity of the administration by providing additional expertise in the design and execution of development projects. With regard to technical assistance for the institutional development of HNP, transfer to UNDP of the voluntary fund established under resolution 975 (1995) was under way. Technical assistance to judicial reform would be required over the medium and long term.
wrote that although progress had been made in the establishment of the
new police force, it had been slow and uneven. Furthermore, some Haitians
feared that the young police force might
Against this background, the Secretary-General believed that ending the United Nations presence at that time might well jeopardize the significant progress achieved by Haiti with the assistance of the international community. He recommended that the Security Council establish a new mission to be known as the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH) for a period of four months until 30 November 1997, the mandate of which would be to support the Haitian authorities in the further professionalization of HNP. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative would continue to coordinate the activities of the United Nations system to promote institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation.
The Secretary-General recommended that the United Nations-assessed strength of the new Mission be substantially reduced -- the civilian police element from 300 to 250 officers and the military element from 500 personnel to a military headquarters staff of 50. In view of the progress achieved by UNSMIH, the primary task of the military element would be to support the activities of the United Nations civilian police, and some of its earlier tasks would be gradually discontinued. The 50 headquarters personnel would be supplemented by contingents provided by Canada and Pakistan and funded by voluntary contributions.
During those four months, the civilian police element would gradually shift its tasks to the training of three of the HNP specialized units - crowd control, the rapid reaction force and Palace security - which were considered of distinct importance. The Mission and UNDP would also continue to prepare a technical assistance programme, which would be financed by the voluntary fund established under resolution 975 (1995). The envisaged programme aimed at providing HNP with top-level law enforcement expertise over the next three years.
In concluding his
report, the Secretary-General said that the expiration of the peacekeeping
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