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28912: (news) Chamberlain: UN-Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>


   UNITED NATIONS, Aug 15 (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council voted
unanimously Tuesday to extend the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti for
six months and urged its troops and police to help fight gang violence and
   The council condemned all human rights violations and called on all
Haitians to renounce violence.
   It said the mission shall comprise up to 7,200 troops, nearly 2,000
international police officers, and 16 corrections officers to address the
shortcomings of the Haitian prison system. This represents a slight
increase over the current mission.
   The U.N. mission replaced a U.S.-led force deployed after an uprising
toppled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004. More than 400
people died in clashes involving pro- and anti-Aristide street gangs,
police, peacekeepers and ex-soldiers who helped oust Aristide.
   Haiti experienced relative calm after President Rene Preval's February
election. Since May, however, dozens of foreigners and Haitians have been
kidnapped and gang fighting has forced hundreds to flee their homes in the
   The council strongly supported Secretary-General Kofi Annan's intention
to maximize the U.N. force's "crime prevention role, particularly with
regard to the threat of gang violence and kidnapping."
   The council also urged Haitian authorities to complete run-off
legislative and municipal elections as soon as possible.
   The council said the U.N. mission "constitutes a key actor in the
continuing stabilization of the county" and in assisting the government to
ensure stability in the country.