Public Security: Two intenational police units leave Haiti
On 18 december, there will be only five international police units left in the country to support the National Police (HNP) operations. The return of the Bangladeshi unit (based in Miragoâne, Nippes) and one of the Indian units (based in Port-au-Prince) to their countries of origin is seen by the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) Police component as the first phase of the Mission’s strategy to exit Haiti.
Deployed to the regions to help maintain security advances achieved in recent years, MINUJUSTH Formed Police Units (FPU) will be withdrawn progressivelly, transfering the full responsibility for security issues to a strengthened HNP. The withdrawal and relocation of the police units reflect operational changes to support areas that have witnessed incidents and other security issues in the past.
The India FPU 1 arrived in Haiti 10 years ago, in October 2008, as part of the UN Mission for Stability in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Based at the SONAPI industrial park in Port-au-Prince, the Unit leaves the space to HNP officers, who will be in charge of security in the area – a strategic position for the national police, which intends to reduce criminality near the airport and downtown.
The Bangladesh FPU is leaving its base in Miragoâne to another MINUJUSTH police unit: the Rwanda FPU, which had, until now, been based in Grand’Anse, Jérémie. “Miragoâne is a strategic point between the capital and the Grand Sud, which must be kept accessible,” explained Commissioner Serge Therriault, MINUJUSTH Police Commander. “With the reduction of the number of international police officers in the country, this realignment into an existing UN base allows us to maintain quick deployment capacity in the Southern departments and Grand’Anse, from where we can support operations in the West of Port-au-Prince if needed.”
With the withdrawal of the Bangladeshi and Indian police units, MINUJUSTH starts to implement its desengagement from the country in view of the Mission’s closure, scheduled for October 2019 (Security Council Resolution 2410/2018). The move is also an acknowledgement of the increased presence on the HNP – which celebrated its 23rd anniversary a few months ago – in the region and in Port-au-Prince.