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6093: End efforts in Haiti, U.N. report advises (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Published Friday, December 1, 2000, in the Miami Herald 
End efforts in Haiti, U.N. report advises By DON BOHNING 

 After nearly 10 years of intense international involvement in Haiti,
the United Nations is calling for an end to a special U.N. civilian
advisory mission to the impoverished Caribbean nation, even as it
predicts a worsening political and economic situation. A report by U.S.
Secretary-General Kofi Anan recommends that the mandate of the U.N.'s
International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICAH) not be renewed after it
 expires on Feb. 6. The move would mark a significant shift in outside
efforts to restore democracy in Haiti following the 1991 military coup
that ousted then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ironically, Anan's
report was issued the same week that Aristide and his Family
 Lavalas party were returned to power by election. But the man once
viewed as Haiti's best hope for political renewal is now viewed with
suspicion, the report said. Anan cited as a ``disturbing element'' of
Haiti's political polarization, ``the widely held perception among
opponents of Family Lavalas -- shared by many former supporters -- that
the party might establish a dictatorial and repressive regime''
 when Aristide returns to the presidency. ``On the other hand,'' the
report noted, ``it is very evident that Mr. Aristide enjoys
 the loyalty of broad sections of the urban and rural poor.'' According
to official returns, Aristide won 92 percent of last Sunday's vote in an
election boycotted by the opposition. Anan's report comes after a
prolonged but unsuccessful effort by Luigi Einaudi, assistant
secretary-general of the Organization of American States, to negotiate
 an end to the feud between Aristide's party, supported by the
government of President René Préval, and its political opposition.
 ``Since mid-July,'' Anan noted, ``Haiti's political and electoral
crisis has deepened, polarizing its political class and civil society,
jeopardizing its international relations, sapping an already declining
economy and adding to the hardship of the impoverished majority.''
 ``In the absence of any solution to the crisis, popular discontent
seems likely to mount in response to rising prices and increasing
poverty, and may lead to further turmoil,'' Anan wrote in the report to
the U.N. General Assembly. Over the past decade, the efforts of the
international community to aid Haiti have included a 1994 U.S.-led
military invasion that ousted the military regime that toppled Aristide
and various special OAS and U.N. human rights monitoring and
 technical assistance missions. ``I think it is a clear report that
draws well-substantiated conclusions,'' Michel Duval, Canada's deputy
U.N. ambassador and point-man for the so-called Friends of Haiti (the
United States, Canada, France, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela),
 said in an interview with The Herald. ``You can sense in the text the
level of frustration that the United Nations has,' observed Georges
Fauriol, director of the Americas Program at the Center for
 Strategic Studies, a moderately conservative Washington think tank.
Fauriol also is informally associated with the George Bush presidential
campaign's Latin America policy team.
 ``The mid- to long-term implications are that the next U.S.
administration is going to have Haiti on its agenda, unfortunately,
whether it wants to or not,'' said Fauriol.

 Special Correspondent Stewart Stogel at the United Nations contributed
to this report.