Haiti: France pleads for the sending of international police officers



France considers that a military intervention “Is not relevant” in Haiti, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told AFP on Thursday (July 15th), pleading for the sending to this country of international police officers under the aegis of the UN.

Asked about the recent request made by Haiti to the United States and the UN to help secure strategic Haitian installations after the assassination on July 7 of President Jovenel Moïse by an armed commando, the head of French diplomacy said pointed out that the capital’s airport and oil installations were “Police protection, not military”.

→ READ. Haiti: the hunt for the sponsors of the assassination continues

Sending police and gendarmes “Is to be seen in the context of a strengthening of the United Nations presence, which is currently insufficient, to be able to support the electoral process”, underlined Jean-Yves Le Drian on the sidelines of meetings at the UN on Libya and the protection of humanitarian workers in the world. “This must be done under the authority of the United Nations”, he said, suggesting that France would be ready to provide gendarmes for such a mission if necessary.

Sending American troops “not on the agenda”

France and the United States had intervened militarily on a bilateral basis in Haiti at the time of the fall in 2004 of the former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. A UN peacekeeper operation (Minustah) followed from 2004 to 2017, comprising up to more than 9,000 soldiers. In October 2017, a police mission (Minujusth, United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti) took over and ended in October 2019.

Since the UN is no longer present in Haiti through a political mission called the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (Binuh), for which 1,200 people work under the direction of a former American ambassador , Helen La Lime.

If a new UN police operation were created in Haiti, it would require authorization from the Security Council, according to several diplomats. On Thursday, US President Joe Biden claimed that sending US troops to Haiti was not “Not on the agenda”. The United States sent a delegation of representatives of the American administration to Haiti on Sunday, July 11, in particular to examine “The security of vital infrastructures” and meet the police officers in charge of the investigation into the assassination of President Moïse.

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