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.
One of the main problems with the original investigations into the killings was that the authorities failed to view them as racist crimes
Experts say Scottish independence will not affect producing and marketing of oil and gas reserves found in North Sea.
Thousands of families displaced from areas of northern and eastern Gaza returned to their districts, only to find their homes partially or completely destroyed.
It will be al-Sisi's first visit to the United States since he was declared the winner of a presidential poll conducted in May.
Relations between the two Communist neighbours sank to their lowest level in three decades this year after China deployed a $1-billion oil rig in waters Vietnam claims as its exclusive economic zone
Initial inquiries had suggested the two cousins, aged 14 and 15, and belonging to a low-caste community, were raped before being hanged from a mango tree
Germany is in discussions with the United States and other international partners about possible military action
The rumblings at Iceland's largest volcano system have raised worries of an eruption that could spell trouble for air travel
A Caspian Sea summit in September is expected to put an end to a decades long conflict over rights to oil and gas riches.
The fighters, who have vowed to "liberate" the area, captured the Quneitra post on the Syrian side from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad after fierce clashes
The audit was part of a U.S.-brokered deal to defuse escalating tension between rivals Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, who have both claimed victory in the ballot
The ministers of industry, labor, planning, education, water resources and war victims' affairs all resigned on Wednesday citing perceived bias on the part of the government towards one particular party to the conflict.
The Thai junta is reversing original policy of stopping all direct subsidies and is now helping to stabilize rubber prices and extending millions in loans.
The Ukrainian military said that more Russian soldiers had crossed the border into eastern Ukraine, entering the small town of Amvrosiyivka in five armoured infantry carriers and a truck.
Imran Farooq was stabbed to death in the British capital in 2010
Apart from clarifying the two issues in the IAEA's investigation, the U.N. agency wants Iran to agree on future steps to address other outstanding topics.