TABLE OF CONTENTS Map of Haiti| | Introduction| | Background| | Before Independence| | After Independence| | The Establishment of UNMIH: September 1993 – June 1996| | First dispatch of UNMIH & the Events of 11 October 1993| | US-led Multi National Force (MNF)| | UN Redeployment| | Findings: Successes & Failures| | Sanctions| | Failure of Governor’s Island Agreement| | Effects on the Haitian Population| | Inadequacy & Oversights of the MNF & UNMIH| | Restoring Aristide & a Lack of Political Control| |
Dismantling of the Haitian Armed Forces & the Ineffectiveness of UNMIH| | Critical Involvement of the US & Questionable Justifications for Intervention| | Haiti: Today| | Haiti: Tomorrow| | Bibliography| | PEACEKEEPING MISSION: UNITED NATIONS MISSION IN HAITI (UNMIH) | | INTRODUCTION Haiti has experienced a tumultuous history defined by political instability, widespread poverty, and unanswerable questions of promoting domestic security and peace. This report will analyse just one of the many United Nations peacekeeping operations to have been implemented in Haiti, that being, the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH).
As this mission and subsequent follow-on missions span more than a decade, this report focuses on the main aspects that contributed to both the successes and the failures of UNMIH. Firstly, this report provides relevant historical information to establish base knowledge of the situation in Haiti. Secondly, the establishment of UNMIH is detailed, analysing the Governor’s Island Agreement and the failed initial deployment of UNMIH. The critical US-led intervention by the UN-authorised Multi National Force (MNF) is then explored, followed by the redeployment of UNMIH.
This report then examines the findings from the UNMIH peacekeeping operation, including the effects of sanctions and the inadequacy & oversights of the MNF & UNMIH. The report concludes with a consideration of Haiti’s condition today and a forecast of Haiti’s future prospects. BACKGROUND Before Independence Although Haiti, or St. Domingue as it was then called, was originally conquered and colonised by Spain, in 1697 the western third of the island was ceded to France and over time, particularly during the 18th century, St. Domingue became the wealthiest colony in the French empire due to a slave-based sugar plantation system.
Beginning in 1971 and continuing for a tumultuous 13 years, the slave population revolted and temporarily gained control of the island. In 1802 the French succeeded in regaining power of St. Domingue, however in 1804, permanent independence from France was won, and hence, the Haitians renamed the area Haiti. After Independence From 1791 to 1994, developments in Haiti led to the islands transformation from the wealthiest colony in the Caribbean into the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere. Twenty-two dictators ruled Haiti from 1843 to 1914 and during this period the country experienced severe disorder, both politically and economically.
In 1915, the US intervened in Haiti. Although benefits such as the creation of infrastructure and the improvement of health were had by Haiti during the occupation, the losses, such as the introduction of “American-style racism” and the failure of Washington to impart any concept of democracy, negated the gains. From 1964 to 1971, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier was named president for life and ruled until his death, creating “domestic political tension, severe political repression, and economic stagnation”.
In 1971, Jean-Claude Duvalier, “Baby Doc”, succeeded Papa Doc and kept many of his policies. The tension and disorder continued and in 1986, Baby Doc fled to France. After a series of governments intermingled with military coups, the first free elections in more than 30 years were held in Haiti in 1990 with the requested assistance of the United Nations (UN). The elections were deemed “highly successful” by the UN as Jean-Bertrand Aristide took the presidential office. However, on 29 September 1991, a coup led by the commander of Haiti’s armed forces, Raoul Cedras, ended democratic rule.
The United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS) condemned the coup and “began diplomatic efforts for the return to democratic rule”. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF UNMIH: SEPTEMBER 1993 – JUNE 1996 Security Council Involvement and the Governors Island Agreement (GIA) In October 1991, the OAS imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on Haiti. In May 1993, after the failure of the previous OAS sanctions, the Group of Friends conceded that UN mandatory sanctions were needed to nudge Cedras out of power and to restore democracy.
Hence, on 16 June 1993, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 841, imposing mandatory sanctions on weapons, oil and petroleum products against Haiti. The instituted sanctions forced Cedras to negotiate with Aristide and on 27 June 1993 at Governor’s Island, and agreement was reached that “foresaw successively a new civilian government, the suspension of sanctions, the deployment of UN peacekeepers, an amnesty, retirement of Cedras, and the return of Aristide”.
First dispatch of UNMIH and the Events of 11 October 1993 On 23 September 1993, with the approval of an advance team, the Security Council resolution 867 “authorized the establishment and immediate dispatch of UNMIH for a period of 6 months”; its mandate was “to assist in modernizing the armed forces of Haiti and establish a new police force”. The UNMIH consisted of 567 civilian police monitors, 60 military trainers and a 500-man strong military construction unit. Sanctions were also suspended by resolution 861 of 27 August.
However, when the UN peacekeeping deployment arrived on the shores of Port-au-Prince on 11 October, armed civilians created disturbances that prevented the ship from landing and threatened journalists and diplomats awaiting the peacekeepers arrival. The UN deplored Haiti’s defiance of the Governor’s Island Agreement and hence the Security Council by resolution 873 of 13 October reimposed sanctions upon Haiti, calling upon Members States to “ensure the strict implementation of the oil and arms embargo” by resolution 875 of 16 October.
US-led Multinational Force (MNF) With the failure of further comprehensive sanctions, it became clear that the only way to restore democracy in Haiti would be by means of a military invasion. On May 8, an administrative decision effectively stopping the automatic return of Haitian refugees from US borders “put US policy on a one-way street towards intervention because it let to a dramatic increase in the number of refugees which only an intervention could stop quickly”.
With the failure of the previous UNMIH mandate, the Group of Friends realised that the new mandate could not “simply consist of training and engineering projects but had to envisage self-defence and security for senior Haitian officials and key installations”. Although the US had wanted a UN force for the revised mission, if only because it worked out quicker and cheaper for them acting under the banner of the UN, Boutros Boutros-Ghali realised that the UN had neither the resources nor the capacity to enforce such a mission.
Hence, on 31 July 1994, the Security Council passed resolution 940, “authorising the creation of a Chapter VII-based US-led multinational force… empowered to use all necessary means’ to restore the democratically elected government of Haiti”. The adoption of resolution 940 marked the first time in history where the US had sought UN authority for the use of force in its own hemisphere. The resolution was also groundbreaking for the UN as it marked the first time that authorisation was given for the use force to remove one regime and install another within a member state.
On 16 September, a last-ditch effort to turn the prevailing hostile invasion into a negotiated intervention was launched by former US President Jimmy Carter. On 18 September, when Cedras realised that a 20,000-man strong MNF was imminent, he agreed to leave the country, thereby allowing the MNF to deploy smoothly and begin to restore democracy. On 15 October, Aristide returned to Haiti and resumed his role as President. Henceforth, under resolution 948, the Security Council lifted sanctions the next day.
UNMIH redeployment In 1994, by terms of resolution 940, the Security Council revised UNMIH’s previous mandate, allowing UNMIH to resume its full range of functions once the MNF had established a “secure and stable environment”. Expanding and strengthening the new mandate: The Council extended the mandate of UNMIH for a period of six months and increased its troop level to 6,000. It established the objective of completing UNMIH’s mission not later that February 1996.
Under its revised mandate, UNMIH would assist in sustaining the secure and stable environment established during the multinational phase and the protection of international personnel and key installations; and in the professionalization of the Haitian armed forces and the creation of a separate police force. It would also assist the legitimate constitutional authorities of Haiti in establishing an environment conducive to the organization of free and fair legislative elections to be called by those authorities, and, when requested by them, monitored by the United Nations, in cooperation with OAS.
In January 1995, a “secure and stable environment” was certified by the US MNF commander, and the transition from the US-led MNF to UNMIH begun in March. With the continued support of a substantial number of US Special Forces, an American force commander of UNMIH, and an annual budget of around $350 million, the UN Secretary-General reported on 24 July that UNMIH had made “significant progress in sustaining the secure and stable environment, conducive to the organisation of free and fair legislative elections, and assisting in creating a police force”.
Although the transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another was successfully made in a calm and stable environment and the judiciary system was beginning to improve, there was concern that “growing popular discontent could be used by disgruntled groups to foment trouble once President Aristide had handed over power and UNMIH had left the country”. Hence, at the end of the scheduled UNMIH mandate in February 1996, the decision was made to extend the mission for an additional four months.
UN presence in Haiti after 1996 was continued until July 1997 by the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH), followed by the United Nations Transmission Misson in Haiti (UNTMIH) until November 1997, and finally continued by the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH) until March 2000. FINDINGS: SUCCESSES & FAILURES SANCTIONS Failure of Governor’s Island Agreement
Although the use of sanctions allowed for a bargaining framework and created a diplomatic process for resolving conflict, several major flaws in the provisions of the Governor’s Island Agreement affected the outcome of the UN mission to restore democracy in Haiti. The provision that sanctions would be lifted before the reinstatement of Aristide and before the departure of the coup leaders allowed for Cedras to not comply with the agreement.
With no specified date for the departure of the military regime, Cedras was also effectively allowed several months to plan countermeasures, including the events of 11 October 1993, which dismantled the original deployment of UNMIH. The implementation timeline of the sanction was unspecified, and hence, the first deployment of UNMIH came too late in the process, allowing the situation in Haiti to deteriorate further.
Effects on the Haitian Population Despite the fact that Haiti was already in a troubled state, which makes it difficult to separate the negative effects of sanctions from prevailing economic disruption, it is evident that the OAS sanctions, the fuel embargo and the comprehensive sanctions on exports, were detrimental to the Haitian civilian population.
Short-term effects, such as a loss of around 300,000 jobs for the Haitian formal employment sector, a rise in food staple prices, the depreciation of the Haitian gourde, and the interruption of agricultural output, led to negative long-term effects, most notably in this case, UNMIH’s difficulty in restoring a lasting, effective democratic society. INADEQUACY & OVERSIGHTS OF THE MNF & UNMIH Restoring Aristide & a Lack of Political Control
Resolution 940 marked the first time in history that the UN had authorised the use of force to remove a de facto regime and re-install the original democratically elected regime. Problems with restoring Aristide to power were a main contributing factor to the overall failure of UNMIH. Firstly, there was an unexpected lack of political control over Aristide that the US became increasingly frustrated with. When signing the GIA, Aristide was under considerable international pressure to make compromises with his social economic policies.
This pressure ultimately led to what was seen by the US as Aristide’s questionable character and suitability to rule, which prompted the US to gradually lose interest and cease political and military support. The UNMIH mandate significantly contributed to this downhill progression and since has been widely criticised about its lack of consideration of the specifics of the Haiti situation, particularly the “lack of consensus between the country’s different sectors on fundamental social and economic goals and on the means for achieving them”.
Dismantling of the Haitian Armed Forces & the Ineffectiveness of UNMIH Another major factor that contributed to UNMIH’s failure to restore lasting democracy with the return of Aristide was the flawed dismantling of the Haitian army in 1995 and the lack of success UNMIH had in creating and maintaining an effective national police force. The US had a major impact on such a progression; with the recent US failure in Somalia, the US’s intentions were purely limited to restoring Aristide to power and giving Haitians a short period of time to begin rebuilding their nation.
Hence, the US did not “engage in systematic disarming of Haitian civilian paramilitary groups, or pursue extensive infrastructure rebuilding, or anything else that suggested “nation-building”. This fact, combined with the lack of political control over Aristide, who later disbanded the Haitian armed forces against US will, drastically affected the UNMIH goal of restoring a lasting democratic society through peace-building, with discontented ex Haitian armed forces turning into militia.
Such militia not only had drastic effects on short-term peace-keeping efforts, but also created UN difficulties in long-term peace-building, highlighted by the 2004 Haitian crisis that was largely offset by “well-armed former members of the Haitian army”. The failure of the MNF and UNMIH to create and maintain an effective Haitian police force compounded the problem, with the disintegrated Haitian police unable to compete with the militia’s strength, both in the number of combatants and weapons.
Critical Involvement of the US & Questionable Justifications for Intervention The US was clearly a major actor in the successes of the overall UN mission in Haiti. Although within the MNF mandate there were “profound ambiguities and contradictions”, the US-led intervention succeeded in creating a space for civil society and democracy to re-establish itself, whilst weakening institutions that had long created tensions in a divided society.
However, with a lack of political control over Aristide steadily becoming less tolerable, the US began to lose interest and this was one major factor that contributed to this missions undoing. For a UN peacekeeping mission, UNMIH was originally fairly well coordinated in terms of politics, resources, and technical and developmental assistance. However, with Aristide becoming less open to compromise and less interested in national interests, the US was no longer able to attempt to create better Haitian national policies and hence, in 1999, the US began pulling out its peacekeeping and peace-building forces.
By 2000, the US has pulled out almost all of its military force in Haiti, and with other countries unable to contribute effectively with their limited political will and resources, the subsequent UN peace-building missions were drastically affected, which ultimately contributed to the failure of the UN to restore a lasting democracy. Furthermore, Haitian authorities were also unconvinced by that time that there should be a foreign military presence in their country, which “reinforced the view of those Council members who began to see the situation in Haiti as more a matter of development than a question of international peace and security”.
The question remains then, should the UN have originally agreed to take on Haiti as a peacekeeping mission? Although there was a regime imposing barbarity on the general population, the original decision to intervene in Haiti was not based on “justifications for intervention established by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, [that being] ’large scale loss of life’ and ‘large scale ethnic cleansing’”.
The fact that the US coined a UN peacekeeping mission almost purely to prevent Haitian boat people reaching the shores of the US and then lacked the political will to finish the assigned mandate, points to a critical oversight by the UN of the US’s primary intentions. HAITI: TODAY Although there was hope that under President Preval (1996-2001) Haiti’s economic agenda would improve, economic deterioration and political instability still characterise Haiti.
With more than 75% of the Haitian population still living on under $2 a day, the United Nations did not succeed in effectively creating a lasting democratic society that would save Haiti from the irresponsible economic and financial policies that resulted in a sharp economic decline after the 1991 coup. With the continued volatility of Haiti, including armed conflicts and human rights abuses, the United Nations, in 2004, established the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) by resolution 1542.
MINUSTAH aimed to “restore a secure and stable environment, to promote the political process, to strengthen Haiti’s Government institutions and rule-of-law-structures, as well as to promote and to protect human rights”. MINUSTAH also currently focuses on the “effective implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, and [calls] on all Member States to provide timely financial, human and technical resources in support of that programme. ”.
The bottom line of Haiti today is that the country is still characterised by increased political instability and widespread poverty. HAITI: TOMORROW Although the UN persists with peacekeeping, peace-building, and development assistance, the same strategies as applied in UNMIH are effectively being utilized and hence are, to date, unsuccessful. Haiti’s climate of instability requires a specific, customised approach to peacekeeping and peace-building by the UN for conditions to improve, as well as the total, voluntary coordination of civilian, police and military elements with the UN and NGOs.
However, with a lack of will, infrastructure and resources, as well as “Haitians’ ingrained aversion to ordered government institutions”, a successful outcome for the UN-Haiti relationship doesn’t look promising. Although the IMF has recently approved continued international financial support, Haiti still battles with inflation threatening the country’s economic stability, a clouded climate for much needed investment and trade, persistent domestic unrest, and a politically volatile environment. Persistent tensions will continue to characterize Haiti, posing a threat to both “political stability and the government’s willingness to pursue otential painful structural reforms demanded by the donor community. In short, [Haiti] faces some daunting tasks, and the mishandling of any one of them holds the potential to seriously undermine the unity of the governing coalition, with potentially serious negative political and economic repercussions. ” BIBLIOGRAPHY Soderlund, W. C. , Briggs, E. D. , Hilderbrandt, K. , Sidahmed, A. S. (2008). Humanitarian Crisis and Intervention: Reassessing the impact of mass media. Virginia, United States: Kumarian Press. Political Risk Yearbook: Haiti Country Report. 2002) Haiti: Country Conditions: Background [Electronic version]. Political Risk Services. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from Business Source Premier. United Nations (2009). Haiti: Background (Summary). Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://www. un. org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unmihbackgr1. html Berdal, M. , & Economides, S. (2007). United Nations Interventionism: 1991-2004. New York: Cambridge University Press. Cortright, D. , & Lopez, G. A. (2000). The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s. Colorado, United States: Lynne Rienner Publishers. United Nations (2009).
Haiti: Background (Full Text). Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://www. un. org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unmihbackgr2. html#two United Nations (2009). Haiti: Background (Mandate). Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://www. un. org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unmihmandate. html Polman, L. (1997). We Did Nothing: Why the truth doesn’t always come out when the UN goes in. London: Penguin Group. EWeiss. T. G. , Forsythe, D. P. , Coate, R. A. (2004). The United Nations and Changing World Politics. Colorado, United States: Westview Press. U. S Department of State (2009). Background Note: Haiti.
Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://www. state. gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1982. htm United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (2009). MINUSTAH: Background. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://www. un. org/en/peacekeeping/missions/minustah/background. html Thakur, R. (2006). The United Nations, Peace and Security. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Edwards, S. (2007). No end in sight to Haiti tour; UN report highlights country’s failings Note: Haiti. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from http://global. factiva. com. ezproxy. bond. edu. au/ga/default. aspx Political Risk Yearbook: Haiti Country Report. 2008) Haiti: Country Forecast[Electronic version]. Political Risk Services. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from EBSCOhost. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Later to be divided into two areas, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (1844); Political Risk Services 2002, p. 60 [ 2 ]. Political Risk Services 2002, p. 60 [ 3 ]. The US intervened after realising benefits of Haiti’s strategic geographical position within the Caribbean, as well as foreseeing issues with Haiti’s increasing political instability and the interest of Germany in occupying the country [ 4 ].
Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 125 [ 5 ]. The United Nations Observer Group for the Verification of the Elections in Haiti (ONUVEH) was established [ 6 ]. UNMIH – Background (Summary) [Website] [ 7 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 169 [ 8 ]. UNMIH – Background (Summary) [Website] [ 9 ]. The Group of Friends (consisting of Canada, France, the US, and Venezuala) was constituted in 1992 to sustain momentum at the United Nations [ 10 ]. Cortright & Lopez 2000, p. 87 [ 11 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 171 [ 12 ].
On 31 August 1993, the Security Council resolution 862 approved the dispatch of an advance team to observe the status of Haiti and to “prepare for the possible deployment of the proposed United Nations mission to Haiti”. It was noted by the advance team that both sides of the political situation were still split by “deep mistrust and suspicion”. The Secretary-General agreed, stating that there was an “urgent need to demonstrate through concrete steps the commitment of the international community to the solution of the Haitian crisis”; UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] [ 13 ]. UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] 14 ]. UNMIH – Mandate [Website] [ 15 ]. UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] [ 16 ]. On 6 May 1994 by resolution 917, the Security Council imposed further comprehensive sanctions on Haiti, including a flight ban and import and export bans; Cortright & Lopez 2000, p. 94 [ 17 ]. Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 130 [ 18 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 173 [ 19 ]. Polman 1997 [ 20 ]. Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 130 [ 21 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 174 [ 22 ]. The “Carter Mission”; Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 130 [ 23 ].
The Haitian armed forces were eventually disbanded by Aristide against US wishes, which later caused the UN serious issues for peace-building, with disgruntled Haitian soldiers regrouping as militia; Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 175 [ 24 ]. UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] [ 25 ]. However, Sean Murphy (1996) argues that “conditions in Haiti… were far from stable throughout 1995” [ 26 ]. UNMIH security related activities included carrying out patrols, escorting humanitarian relief convoys, providing back-up to the Haitian authorities in law and order situations, and ensuring the security of UNMIH personnel and property.
UNMIH also conducted civil affairs activities. UNMIH also assisted in the monitoring and guiding of the establishment of a permanent and effective Haitian police force, which was seen to be critical to Haiti’s long-term stability. Finally, as part of its mandate, UNMIH assisted in monitoring the parliamentary and local elections as well as maintaining security throughout that period; UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] [ 27 ]. Weiss, Forsythe, & Coate 2004, p. 71 [ 28 ].
However, an attack on two deputies in November 1995 prompted widespread violence across several Haitian cities, illustrating the still fragile nature of Haiti’s security situation; UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] [ 29 ]. Unemployment and underemployment continued to be an issue in Haitian society, alongside problems of economic hardship and a lack of services and infrastructure. The newly elected Government also faced many difficult obstacles in attracting domestic and foreign investment and also stimulating economic growth; UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] [ 30 ].
UNMIH – Background (Full Text) [Website] [ 31 ]. The extended UNMIH mission was about half its former size and without American forces; UN Chronicle 1995 [ 32 ]. Weiss, Forsythe, & Coate 2004, p. 72 [ 33 ]. Cortright & Lopez 2000, p. 93 [ 34 ]. Putting the majority of Haitians in a position where food staples were out of reach [ 35 ]. Cortright & Lopez 2000, p. 96 [ 36 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 180 [ 37 ]. Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 152 [ 38 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 190 [ 39 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 185 [ 40 ]. Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 31 [ 41 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 175 [ 42 ]. Haiti’s police force shrank from an estimated 5,000 to 2,500 during the time of crisis compared with Haiti’s well prepared militias, estimated to have been around 25,000 strong; Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 185 [ 43 ]. Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 151 [ 44 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 188 [ 45 ]. Berdal & Economides 2007, p. 181 [ 46 ]. Soderlund, Briggs, Hilderbrandt, & Sidahmed 2008, p. 133 [ 47 ]. That being, the US was not interested in maintaining the safety of the region, but only in its national interests [ 48 ].
Agenda included: trade/tariff liberalization, measures to control government expenditure and increase tax revenues, civil service downsizing, financial sector reform, and the modernization of two out of nine state-owned enterprises through their sale to private investors, the provision of private sector management contracts, or joint public-private investment [ 49 ]. U. S Department of State – Background Notes: Haiti [Website] [ 50 ]. MINUSTAH – United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti [Website] [ 51 ]. Thakur 2006, p. 44 [ 52 ]. Edwards 2007 [ 53 ]. Political Risk Services: Haiti Country Forecast 2009, p. 4