UN's Ban asks council for extra Haiti peacekeepers

U.N. chief said he had recommended to the Security Council to add 1,500 police and 2,000 troops to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

UN's Ban asks council for extra Haiti peacekeepers

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he had recommended to the Security Council to add 1,500 police and 2,000 troops to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti following last week's devastating earthquake.

The world body's MINUSTAH peacekeeping force in Haiti currently stands at some 9,000 troops and police.

Speaking to reporters after addressing a closed-door session of the council, Ban noted that he was proposing a two-thirds increase in police and a rise of nearly 30 percent in troops.

The U.N. secretary-general, who paid a six-hour visit to Haiti on Sunday, said the increased troop level would be for a period of six months. It was not clear if there was a time-limit also for the extra police.

Media reports have said that U.N. peacekeepers are struggling to keep order and deliver aid after the Jan. 12 quake wrecked the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and killed as many as 200,000 people.

"The heartbreaking scenes I saw yesterday compel us to act swiftly and generously today and over the longer term," Ban said.

Earlier, diplomats said a group of Security Council members was working to draft a resolution to approve an increase in MINUSTAH, which could be voted on later on Monday, or on Tuesday.

Among buildings destroyed in the quake was the U.N. headquarters in Port-au-Prince. Spokesman Martin Nesirky said the confirmed U.N. death toll from the quake currently stood at 46 and that more than 500 U.N. employees were unaccounted for -- a figure that includes local staff who may have survived but have not been contacted.

Reuters
Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2010, 00:23
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