The last Brazilian peacekeeping soldiers to Haiti have officially wrapped up their 13-year UN military mission to the country.
Thursday’s ceremony marked an important step in closing MINUSTAH, which according to a unanimous UN Security Council resolution reached in April will fully shut down October 15.
“We arrived in June 2004 when Haiti was experiencing instability and violence,” Brazilian Defense Minister Raul Jungmann said on Thursday at a ceremony held in Tabarre, Port-au-Prince to mark the official end of the battalion’s mission.
Sandra Honore, Head of U.N. stabilisation mission in Haiti, said, “The United Nations, and I’m sure the Haitian people also, are very grateful for the key role that Brazil played in the efforts to create long-lasting stability here along with troops from a total of 24 countries across the world who participated in MINUSTAH since its creation, including troops from Latin American countries that traditionally made up the majority of troops.”
The UN will deploy a successor operation, the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).
The new mission will be established for an initial six months, from October 16, 2017 to April 15, 2018, and is projected to exit two years after its establishment.
The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was deployed in 2004 to help stem political violence after the departure of president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The mission’s reputation was further tarnished in 2010, when Nepalese UN peacekeepers introduced cholera, leading to an outbreak that killed more than 9,000 Haitians.
Carl Sandy Alcema