Country Moves towards Presidential Elections: Two Missions Extended

Article excerpt

Haiti - described as "a very poor country with 200 years of agitated history" - was moving towards presidential elections, scheduled for 17 December 1995 and 21 January 1996, with its people feeling more secure", Lakhdar Brahimi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Haiti, told the press on 2 October at UN Headquarters.

The national any had been dismantled, and for the first time in the country's history, a national police of 5,000 men was being created, he said. The UN Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) was doing "reasonably well". Its role was to assist Haitians with security matters and help organize the elections, Mr. Brahimi observed.

UNMIH extended

The Security Council on 31 July, in extending the Mission for seven months, said it looked forward to the "conclusion of UNMIH's mandate at that time and to the safe, secure and orderly assumption of office by a new, constitutionally elected government".

By unanimously adopting resolution 1007 (1995), the Council also commended UNMIH on its successful efforts to assist the Haitian Government in sustaining a "secure and stable environment, protecting international personnel and key installations, establishing the conditions for holding elections, and professionalizing the security forces".

In addition, it thanked UNMIH and the joint International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICIVIH) of the Un/Organization of American States (OAS), as well as contributing States, for their "assistance with the municipal and legislative elections" that had begun on 25 June.

The Council also expressed "deep concern with irregularities" observed in the first round of those elections, and urged all parties to the process to "pursue every effort to ensure that such problems are corrected in future balloting".

In welcoming the continuing efforts of Haiti's President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to work towards national reconciliation, the Council called upon the Secretaries-General of the UN and OAS to continue to render "all appropriate assistance to the Haitian electoral process".

States and international institutions were also urged to provide assistance to the Government and people of Haiti "as they consolidate the gains made towards democracy and stability".

By the end of June 1995, UNMIH - established by Council resolution 867 (1993) - had 6,065 military and 847 civilian police personnel, 191 international and 240 local staff, as well as 19 UN volunteers. …