UN chief says Haiti police mission should close as planned


United Nations (United States) (AFP)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is recommending that a UN police force deployed in Haiti end its mission in October as planned, despite weeks of violent protests, according to a report seen by AFP on Wednesday.

The UN force known as MINUJUSTH should be replaced by a small political mission based in Port-au-Prince, said the report sent to the Security Council on Friday.

"Drawing upon lessons from previous transitions in Haiti and other country contexts, I recommend that the implementation of the MINUJUSTH mandate be gradually phased out during the last six months," said the report.

The mission's five police units will hand over all security responsiblities to the national police and that there be a "seamless passage to a special political mission," it added.

With almost 1,000 police and 325 civilians, MINUJUSTH replaced the full-fledged MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission, which was sent after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

That mission shut down in 2017, ending an operation that fell out of favor with Haitians after infected UN peacekeepers from Nepal introduced cholera.

Haiti has been rocked by three weeks of violent anti-government protests. At least seven people have been killed during clashes with police.

The Security Council is due to discuss the report on Friday.