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6148: Scy Genl's Report Part I (fwd)

From: Affuller@aol.com

Here is the November 9, 2000 Report of the UN Secretary General on The 
situation of democracy and human rights in Haiti.  

I'm sending it in two parts as its too large for one message.  It is also 
available on line, but I haven't figured out where exactly, in French and 
Fifty-fifth session
Agenda item 48
The situation of democracy and human rights in Haiti

        United Nations International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti

        Report of the Secretary-General

    I.  Introduction

1.  The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 
54/193 of 17 December 1999, in which the General Assembly established the 
International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti (MICAH) in order to 
consolidate the results achieved by the Organization of American States 
(OAS)/United Nations International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH), the 
United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH) and previous United 
Nations missions. In paragraph 12 of the same resolution, the General 
Assembly requested me to submit a report to the General Assembly every four 
months. The present report covers developments in the mission area since the 
submission of my previous report to the Assembly, on 17 July 2000 (A/55/154).

    II. Political situation and elections

2.  Since mid-July, 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. 
3.  Disregarding all calls for rectification of the method of calculation of 
the Senate results and certain other irregularities in the 21 May legislative 
and municipal elections, and with the opposition maintaining its boycott, the 
authorities completed the drawn-out electoral process, promulgated the final 
results and seated a new Parliament. The ruling Fanmi Lavalas party of former 
President Aristide took 18 of the 19 contested Senate seats and 72 of the 83 
seats in the Chamber of Deputies. Without consulting the opposition, 
President Préval named three new members to the Provisional Electoral Council 
(CEP) to replace its President, who had fled the country in June, and two 
opposition representatives who had previously resigned. He then empowered the 
contested CEP to organize elections for president and the remaining one third 
of the Senate seats on 26 November.
4.  Most of the opposition, grouped in a tactical alliance, first known as 
the Groupe de convergence and currently as the Democratic Convergence, 
adhered throughout most of this period to the position that the 21 May 
elections were so fraudulent that they should be annulled and held again 
under a new CEP, but only after President Préval had stood down and been 
replaced by a provisional government. In the meantime, the opposition ruled 
out any participation in the November elections. This position was promoted 
through the media and in a series of rallies in provincial towns, of which 
the largest drew a crowd of 5,000. The campaign failed in every way to deter 
the Government and Fanmi Lavalas. 
5.  While not backing the opposition call for the complete annulment of the 
elections, civil society organizations - private sector groups, churches, 
labour unions, intellectuals - all urged the authorities to address the 
serious electoral irregularities in order to avoid exacerbating the political 
crisis and jeopardizing much-needed international assistance. Groups of 
intellectuals, including some who had once supported former President 
Aristide's Lavalas movement, issued a series of petitions voicing concern 
about the perceived totalitarian tendencies of Fanmi Lavalas and the possible 
emergence of a one-party state. For the most part, Fanmi Lavalas dismissed 
these civil society organizations as representing only the elite of Haitian 
society and as being disconnected from the overwhelming majority of the 
6.  The international community always held that the errors of the 21 May 
elections could be rectified, although its appeals to this end at every stage 
in the process had no effect. Its chief concern was the flawed method of 
calculating the Senate results, in which all of the front-runners won 
outright in the first round, regardless of whether they had the absolute 
majority required by the electoral law or just a plurality. According to the 
OAS Electoral Observation Mission, there should have been run-offs for 10 of 
the 19 Senate seats. Concern was also voiced about the significant, 
unexplained differences between the final figures of CEP and those previously 
posted by the regional electoral offices, and the failure of CEP to deal with 
the complaints filed by candidates challenging voting procedures and results.
7.  After the mission led by OAS Secretary-General César Gaviria in 
mid-August and several visits by envoys of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) 
and the United States of America had failed to stop the seating of the new 
Parliament on 28 August, Haiti's main bilateral donors announced the end of 
"business as usual". They would not finance the November elections or any 
electoral observer missions, they would not recognize the new Parliament, and 
they would henceforth provide little or no assistance to the Government of 
Haiti, channelling it all through non-governmental organizations. The United 
States Administration also stated that it would consider opposing Haitian 
loan requests from international financial institutions. All this was to stay 
in effect until an independent and credible CEP was established; there was 
some accommodation on the 21 May elections, especially the contested Senate 
seats; and a dialogue was started with the opposition on ways to strengthen 
Haitian democracy. Meanwhile, the European Union, which had already suspended 
some projects in July, took steps to invoke a provision of the Lomé 
Convention which could lead to the suspension of its assistance.
8.  At a ministerial-level meeting held in New York on 13 September, the 
Group of Friends of the Secretary-General for Haiti (Argentina, Canada, 
Chile, France, the United States of America and Venezuela) voiced profound 
disappointment and deep concern at the failure of the Haitian authorities to 
rectify the flaws of the 21 May elections. At the Government's invitation, 
OAS Assistant Secretary-General Luigi Einaudi led a new mission to Haiti one 
week later, with the aim of facilitating a dialogue between Fanmi Lavalas and 
the opposition. President Préval pledged to implement any accord resulting 
from the dialogue, provided it "did not violate the Constitution" or delay 
the handover to a new President on 7 February 2001. Fanmi Lavalas was ready 
to take part in the dialogue although it reiterated that it was not prepared 
to consider any revision of the 21 May election results. The Democratic 
Convergence, for its part, published a set of conditions for its 
participation in the dialogue which included the suspension of the activities 
of all parliamentarians, mayors and local officials elected in May, the 
cessation of the activities of CEP and its replacement, and an end to all 
repression and acts of intimidation against the opposition. 
9.  In the event, no face-to-face dialogue took place, and Mr. Einaudi 
instead spent a week of shuttle diplomacy between the two sides. OAS made a 
third attempt at mediation, from 13 to 21 October, and was successful in 
convening direct talks witnessed by some representatives of the international 
community. While there was an exchange of position papers and some progress 
made, the talks ultimately failed to produce an agreement that could serve as 
a foundation for proceeding with presidential and senatorial elections that 
would include candidates from across the political spectrum. Based on his 
bilateral consultations, Mr. Einaudi prepared a six-point document that 
contained elements for a national accord, covering public security in the 
electoral context, issues outstanding from the 21 May 2000 elections, the 
elections planned for 26 November 2000, restructuring of the electoral 
council, strengthening democracy, and the role of the international 
community. For his part, Mr. Aristide, citing security concerns, agreed to 
meet with the Democratic Convergence only if its leaders came to his home. 
10. On 23 October, Mr. Einaudi reported to the Permanent Council of OAS that 
appreciable progress had been made towards breaking the logjam but that very 
substantial differences persisted, primarily concerning the contentious 21 
May elections. On that occasion, CARICOM indicated its intention to field 
observers for the presidential elections.
11. Late in September, the Department of Political Affairs dispatched an 
electoral expert to consider United Nations electoral assistance in the light 
of the current political stand-off. The expert consulted with the 
international community, including donors, the Government and opposition, and 
sought to assess the technical capacity of CEP to stage free and fair 
elections. The mission coincided with a round of OAS mediation, providing an 
opportunity for consultation with representatives of OAS which has been 
extensively involved in the Haitian elections. After meeting with a wide 
range of actors, the expert found that, assuming the necessary political 
will, the Council's preparedness was adequate. The United Nations, meanwhile, 
decided that, in the present circumstances, it was not in a position to 
continue its technical assistance to CEP in its preparations for the November 
elections. As a result, the United Nations technical assistance team - 
deployed under the auspices of the United Nations Development Programme 
(UNDP) - left the country on 15 October.
12. The deepening political crisis and the continued suspension of much 
financial assistance by international financial institutions precipitated a 
fall in the Haitian gourde, from 18 to the United States dollar in May to 
around 25 at present. This has provoked a surge in the price of basic 
commodities in a country in which the majority lives in great poverty. An 
additional spur to inflation came from a 44 per cent hike in the price of 
fuel, which the Government was obliged to introduce on 2 September because of 
the increase in world oil prices. This has already prompted a one-day general 
strike backed by the opposition and a three-day closure of petrol stations, 
and is expected to lead to further protests. The constraints on Government 
spending - exacerbated by the need to finance the November elections from its 
own resources - have given rise to unrest in the public sector. In the 
meantime, the expectations of the so-called popular organizations that they 
would be rewarded with jobs for supporting Fanmi Lavalas (by means of the 
violent street demonstrations held during the electoral period) have emerged 
as an additional source of pressure on the Government and Fanmi Lavalas.
13. Since July, there has been an increase in violent crime that may be 
linked to the worsening political and social situation. The victims of fatal 
shootings include a MICAH staff member who was shot while behind the wheel of 
a clearly marked United Nations vehicle near the head office of MICAH on 7 
August. Another MICAH international staff member in a marked United Nations 
vehicle was the target of an attempted car hijacking by two gunmen near a 
well-known hotel in September. There have been worrying allegations of police 
involvement in robbery, extortion and abduction, as well as drug trafficking, 
together with reports of anarchic tax collection by newly elected local 
officials, and the involvement of popular organizations in protection 
14. Political pressures on the Haitian National Police (HNP), together with 
such incidents as the attempted lynching of a police commissioner during a 
pro-Aristide demonstration on 2 October, have contributed to the 
demoralization of HNP and eroded its operational capacity and credibility. 
Reports that its effective strength has fallen to alarmingly low levels have 
fuelled fears of a breakdown in public order. 
15. These fears were exacerbated on 18 October when the Government alleged 
that several ranking local police chiefs (commissaires) were plotting to 
seize state power. As a result, two agents were arrested, seven fled the 
country and have applied for political asylum in the Dominican Republic, and 
two others have sought the protection of the Dominican embassy in 
Port-au-Prince. Some of those implicated have stated publicly that the coup 
plot was fabricated by Fanmi Lavalas members who wish to assume control of 
HNP. They mentioned specifically Senator Danny Toussaint, President of the 
Senate's Permanent Commission for Justice and Public Security, who issued a 
report on 12 September alleging the presence of criminals within HNP and 
proposing that it be purged. They also claim that Fanmi Lavalas interfered 
inappropriately in security matters related to the May election and was 
involved in illegal acts.
16. A degree of hostility towards the international community was sustained 
by talk in the media of international sanctions, and statements by the 
President and Prime Minister in July. They called upon Haitians to tighten 
their belts, likening the situation to 1804 when Haiti won its independence 
on the battlefield. Intermittent street demonstrations, for the most part 
non-violent, continued outside embassies and offices of the United Nations 
and OAS, albeit with less frequency than in June and early July. On 27 July, 
a grenade was thrown at the Canadian Ambassador's residence and, on 11 
August, a Molotov cocktail was tossed at the home of a European Union 
official. No one was hurt in either incident and damage was considered 
minimal. Unexploded grenades were also found at the building that used to 
house MICIVIH and at a French-run private school. Requests for increased 
police protection by the international community in Haiti for the most part 
did not result in any significant measures.

III. Deployment and operations of the International Civilian Support Mission 
in Haiti

17. It is recalled that the recruitment of substantive staff of MICAH was 
delayed because of financing problems and that the first advisers did not 
begin to arrive in Haiti until mid-June 2000. Thereafter, staff were 
progressively recruited and deployed and, by mid?October, the three pillars 
of MICAH - justice, police and human rights - had a total of 68 advisers 
assigned to the Ministry of Justice, HNP, the Prison Authority, the Judges 
School and the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as to MICAH regional offices, 
a human rights verification unit and units working with civil society 
18. MICAH worked with UNDP and bilateral donors involved in the areas of 
justice, police and human rights to identify short-term projects that would 
best be undertaken by the Mission. When issues concerned more than one of the 
MICAH pillars, joint approaches were made to the authorities. MICAH took part 
in a discussion with all the United Nations agencies on the common country 
assessment conducted throughout June 2000, and on the methodology and joint 
initiatives being undertaken to prepare the United Nations Development 
Assistance Framework for the period 2002-2006.
    IV. Justice

19. The justice pillar of MICAH, which had 17 advisers by mid-October, 
provided logistical and organizational support for a process of discussion 
and revision of five newly prepared draft laws, three concerning the 
organization and independence of the judiciary, one concerning drug 
trafficking and one concerning money-laundering. The process began with 
discussions with judicial officials and lawyers in each of Haiti's five 
appellate courts. It was followed by a five-day national forum at the Judges 
School, organized jointly by the Ministry of Justice and the MICAH justice 
pillar, which brought together all of the actors in the justice sector to 
discuss the five draft laws, with the participation of three United Nations 
international experts.
20. There were two trials held during this period that were landmarks in the 
fight against impunity and in efforts to improve due process during criminal 
trials. One was the three-week trial of a group of police officers accused of 
11 executions in 1999 in the Port-au-Prince district, Carrefour-Feuilles. The 
other was the trial of 22 former army officers, soldiers and civilians 
accused in a 1994 massacre in the Gonaïves district of Raboteau, which began 
on 29 September. MICAH monitored the Raboteau trial and provided technical 
assistance to those planning security. UNDP also facilitated the testimony at 
trial of five military experts and legal anthropologists. 
21. Building on the work of UNDP, the justice pillar helped to reorganize the 
Prison Authority and began a programme of training in prison and personnel 
management for the Prison Authority's trainers and wardens. Together with 
UNDP and the International Committee of the Red Cross, it supported the 
Prison Authority's attempts to address problems in prison conditions, 
including inadequate food, medical treatment, sanitary conditions and 
recreation time outside cells. MICAH voiced its concern to the authorities 
about the continued detention, without legal basis, of nearly 300 deportees 
in the National Penitentiary and in Port-au-Prince police stations after 
their repatriation from the United States upon completion of prison 
sentences. The authorities, who reluctantly resumed accepting deportees in 
June, acknowledged that such detentions were not legal but maintained that 
public security concerns and the lack of facilities for social rehabilitation 
and reintegration prevented their immediate release. A female deportee died 
in hospital in September after falling ill in police custody.