World Bulletin/News Desk
The U.N. Security Council on Friday approved for another year the world body's peacekeeping force in Haiti, but it will be cut in size by about 15 percent as it hands over security responsibility to the Haitian national police.
The 15-nation council unanimously approved a reduction of authorized troops and police by 1,710 to 8,871, as recommended by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. There are now about 10,000 U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti, and Ban recommended a gradual drawdown to be completed by June 2013.
Haiti is still struggling to recover from a strong January 2010 earthquake that killed about 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless.
The U.N. force, known as the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH, was established in 2004 to help Haiti's short-staffed and ill-equipped police maintain security, especially during elections plagued by fraud and unrest. The force's size was increased after the earthquake.
Dozens of countries contribute troops and police to the force.
The U.N. force became highly unpopular in Haiti after peacekeepers were blamed by locals for a cholera outbreak two years ago this month that has sickened almost 600,000 people and killed more than 7,400 in the Caribbean nation, the poorest in the western hemisphere.
An independent panel appointed by Ban to study the epidemic issued a report in May 2011 that the United Nations said did not determine conclusively how cholera was introduced into Haiti.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June 2011 found that evidence strongly suggested U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal were the source.
In March, two U.N. peacekeepers from Pakistan were sentenced to a year in prison for raping a 14-year-old Haitian boy after being convicted in a Pakistani military trial in Haiti.
That rape case triggered renewed protests and demands from Haitian senators that U.N. peacekeepers be stripped of immunity and be tried in a Haitian court.
Turkish diplomatic official says Presidency of Religious Affairs' relief activities reached thousands of Nigerians in 2017
Second reshuffle in 12 months sees currency fall 0.5 pct against US dollar
Iran has three main crossings with northern Iraq’s Kurdish region
40 Somalis injured in Saturday's truck bomb attack in Mogadishu were airlifted to Turkey for medical treatment on Monday
Afghan-born US citizen faces separate charges in shootout with police, attempted bombing of military charity race
Trump's threat to ditch the landmark 2015 agreement, which saw Tehran dramatically scale back its nuclear ambitions in return for an end to punishing sanctions, has sparked a chorus of foreign support for the pact.
Turkish airstrikes kill 8 PKK terrorists in Zap region of northern Iraq, according to Turkish military
Thousands flee northern city after Peshmerga fighters retreat before Iraqi army advance, local sources report
Polish envoy to Ankara says that Turkey has always been an 'important partner'
Alexis Tsipras tipped to emphasise Greece’s geopolitical role during Washington visit that has caught many by surprise
Government forces entered the district center this morning
Pro-independence associations call for protests Tuesday against decision to jail the two leaders
Turkish military launches jets, drones after soldiers martyred in ambush in Zap region
Defense Ministry says that officials closely monitoring developments
'Yemen has been a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and transit for years,' Pentagon says