On Monday, the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti for another year. This is welcome as the UN has been previously guilty of leaving a job half done which swiftly unravelled upon their departure.
We had concerns that China would derail the renewal of the mandate as a result of Haiti's steadfast support of Taiwan. Taiwan remains a major source of foreign assistance for Haiti. Fortunately, this did not happen.
It is worth noting that the MINUSTAH force will be reconfigured somewhat. Citing improvements in security, troops will be reduced by 140 to a maximum of 7,060. Infanty will be decreased and soliders will be redployed from calm areas to establish patrols along the coast and the Dominican Republic.
However, drug dealers have long been dropping their cargo via plane into extremely rural areas by set
drop off points. Coastal patrols are unlikely to solve this.
The report notes that the "police component of the U.N. force will be increased by 140, to a maximum of 2,091, to help Haitian police in urban areas, compensate for the shift of troops and help with border monitoring". The Haitian National Police remain weak, and those who have interacted with them, know that they often are traffickers themselves.
MINUSTAH is made up of staff predominantly from Brazil but also Argentina and Chile with support from Canada, France, and the United States. As a result of their robust response against gangs in the city's slums, kidnappings are done and the city more secure than it has been in years.