Clinton in Haiti: The 1994 US Invasion of Haiti

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The presence of so many weapons seems to have been responsible for the first U. On 12 January, U. One soldier died in the incident which U. Despite the limited levels of disarmament, the UN took over the multinational operation.

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By 5 December, with U. Criminal violence has continued to be a problem since the transfer of authority. However, the UN has no mandate to investigate common crime which is the responsibility of the criminal justice system. Initially, efforts focused on the police force. President Aristide pledged to separate the police and army, with the creation of a new civilian police force around 4, strong and the paring down of Haiti's army from 7, to 1, troops.

The Meaning of Success

The separation of police and army was approved by the Senate on 30 November and the first steps towards the reduction of the military were made by assigning a number of the military officers who were expected to oppose it to overseas diplomatic postings.

This happened so suddenly that it provoked a demonstration on 26 December in which three soldiers died and six others were wounded while protesting against their dismissal. The army was made part of the interim police force and put under the control of the Ministry of Justice. By 20 February , Major Toussaint was Haiti's highest ranking military officer. The creation of a police force has been a more fraught process, in part because the rapid abolition of the army left a security void.

The retraining of members of Haitian security forces began at a new police academy on 24 October. After week-long courses given by international trainers, they returned to the streets to patrol with international police monitors. There have been a number of problems with the interim police force. Firstly, due to the difficulties of vetting, a number of members of the security forces suspected of human rights violations were allowed into the force.

The wholesale entry of the remaining members of the Haitian military into the force compounded this problem. The patrolling of these people on the streets has not done much to improve peoples' confidence in the new police. The Haitian Government opposes the U. It is believed that the prison guards played a role in allowing the prisoners to escape.

A new national police academy was inaugurated in early February in order to train the national police force which will ultimately replace the interim force. Four month training sessions began for the first two classes of recruits each.

The Perils of Humanitarian Intervention

The plan is for the new police to replace the interim force by stages until a new national force of 6, to 7, officers is formed. Some of the interim force will be allowed to apply to join the permanent force, although the Haitian and U. Governments do not plan for more than 9 per cent of the new force to be composed of former soldiers. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, underlining the U. While the civilian police force is at least on the way to being formed, the judiciary remains in a state of collapse. Soon after his appointment, Ernst Mallebranche, the Minister of Justice, issued a notice to judges across the country urging them to hold court from 9am to 2pm.

He was unsure where to send it because he did not know how many judges the country had. On 24 January , Ernst Mallebranche resigned as Justice Minister following mounting protest against the slow pace of judicial reform. The people identified could then be removed from the criminal justice system. A decree forming a seven member commission was signed on 20 December It has a six month mandate to gather information and make a report. However, a series of delays in putting together a technical team and raising the funds necessary to begin its work have led to accusations that the government lacks the political will to pursue the investigation.

This does not bode well for the depth and rigour of the investigation which is now expected to be completed towards the end of this year. Democracy is not only about values and ideas. Nothing has been done to provide clean water, electricity, transportation, health care or education - Dr. Marco Tulio Bruni Celli, 1 March The more intractable problem is the state of Haiti's economy.

The state of the country was vividly demonstrated by the effect of Tropical Storm Gordon on the country. While in neighbouring Cuba, the storm caused a good deal of material damage, in Haiti, over people died from landslides and the destruction of poor housing. The reconstruction plan was agreed to before the U. Under the plan, Haiti agreed to eliminate the jobs of half of its civil servants, privatize public services, reduce tariffs and import restrictions and massively promote the export economy.

Half of the money will promote institution-building, humanitarian assistance and balance of payments support. The other half will go towards around individual projects, including the construction of roads and sewerage systems. The plan, known as the Emergency Economic Recovery Programme, was agreed by donors at a special meeting in Paris in January Meanwhile, the U. However, the level of underemployment is believed to be over 50 per cent and the cost of living has risen over the last three years by between 65 and 85 per cent.

The flows of refugees from, and sent back to, Haiti have offered a clear indicator of the levels of stability and repression within Haiti. The high hopes following the return of President Aristide initially led to a rapid and voluntary repatriation of Haiti's refugees. By 25 November , 15, Haitians had been voluntarily repatriated to Haiti from the U. Naval Base in Guantanamo. According to the refugees, hundreds were handcuffed during the operation. State Department that forced repatriation "significantly violates international and U.

A small group of unaccompanied children remained at Guantanamo. Small numbers were allowed into the U. However, following pressure from refugee advocates, a decision was taken to allow the remaining children to be granted permanent resettlement with foster parents in the U.

In the Bahamas, according to the National Coalition for Haitian Refugees, the 60, Haitian refugees registered by a census in were never allowed to apply for political refugee status. While 3, Haitians had agreed to go home in a voluntary registration exercise in November , many of those registered went into hiding again in the new year. There are reports that they are frustrated at the lack of change in Haiti since the return of President Aristide. However, it seems that this has not been enough to convince the Haitians to return.

A further reflection of the lack of stability within Haiti, beyond the reluctance of refugees to return, has been the new outflow of refugees. By January , less than three months after President Aristide's return, there were reports of makeshift boats leaving the island for Florida and of bodies being sighted in Haitian territorial waters.

Coastguard cutters were once again intercepting Haitian refugees in boats near Florida, and repatriating them to Haiti. The most serious incident occurred on 20 August when Bahamian authorities and the U. Coast Guard removed Haitians from an overcrowded freighter. Around 50 to people died during the four day voyage and survivors said that people starved, suffocated or jumped overboard after going mad in cramped quarters.

One victim drowned after jumping from the Bahamian freighter taking the Haitians ashore. The survivors were flown back to Haiti. While frustration with the lack of changes since the President's return may be one reason for the new outflow of boat people, another factor has been the failure to provide any programmes for returning refugees. Funding appeals for refugee reintegration programmes which were made by UNHCR in November have not yet resulted in any contributions. The recent elections pointed to the problems that lie ahead for Haitian democracy.

Parliamentary and local elections, held on 25 June, could have been a celebration of a democracy restored by international intervention. However, the process was characterized by considerable technical flaws. International observers reported cases of ballot burning, ballot box stuffing, threats against electoral officials and a rise in political violence. The estimated per cent turnout for the first round was considerably lower than the over 80 per cent who voted in the presidential elections. Irregularities in the process also resulted in a second round boycott by the leadership of a number of political parties despite attempts by the U.

Department of State to prevent it. While it is probably fair to say that the result, a landslide victory for the OPL, reflects what a majority of Haitians wanted, it is hard to see the process as effectively legitimizing the return to constitutional rule. In addition, he theoretically has only three months remaining of his presidential tenure and the search for a successor who can implement the requirements of structural adjustment programmes without losing the backing of the majority of the people is already well under way.

Some commentators believe that President Aristide will be encouraged to promote a constitutional amendment which would allow him to stand for president again at the end of the year. It is too early to predict the outcome of the democratization and reconstruction process in Haiti. At this stage, all that can be said is to point to the magnitude of the problems and the efforts being made to resolve them. There does seem to be a fundamental problem, however. Unlike in his previous government, President Aristide does not have a single popular movement representative in his cabinet.

The economic reconstruction plan is targeted largely at governmental and infrastructural projects. It is a rather sad reflection on the impact of the international intervention that the first anniversary of the U. Ignoring this fact may ultimately play into the hands of the paramilitaries who may not need much encouragement to try and rule the country again. The More Things Change Human Rights in Haiti. New York: Americas Watch. February September Amnesty International.

London: Amnesty International. August Amnesty International USA. News Release. Andreu, F. Occasional Papers No. London: Institute of Latin American Studies. Associated Press. Bruni Celli, Marco Tulio. Situation of Human Rights in Haiti. New York: United Nations. Corten, A. Ferguson, James. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Fuller, Anne. The Guardian [London]. Maggie O'Kane. Golberger, P. May Guest, Ian. Repression in Haiti: A Challenge for Multilateralism. Washington D. Haiti Info [Fort Lauderdale]. Wants to Control New Police". Administration and the Bourgeoisie".

London: Haiti Support Group. Haitian Information Bureau. The Haiti Files. New York. April March Paris: Karthala. International Civilian Mission. New York: United Nations, 25 October New York, 27 July InterPress Service. Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.


November New York: National Labor Committee. New York Times News Service. Richard D. Organization of American States. Washington: Organization of American States. Schulz, Donald E. Policy Toward Haiti. Texier, Philippe. Geneva: United Nations. This Week in Haiti [New York]. Department of State.

President Clinton at Arrival in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (1995)

Government Printing Office. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. UN General Assembly. UN Security Council. Wargny, Christophe. Le Monde Diplomatique. Washington Office on Haiti.

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The Washington Post. Todd Robberson. Effort at Building New Force". There were only 16, troops in Haiti by 23 October On 7 November , Colonel Barry Willey announced that a further 9, troops would return home by Christmas. Reuters , 23 October ; Associated Press , 7 November Donald E. Personal Interview, 21 September However, there is some suspicion that the ICM was evacuated because its condemnation of military and police officers impeded the political negotiations which were based on a broad amnesty for the coup leaders.

See F. Government Printing Office, , p 4.

Mark Danner, "The Fall of the Prophet", p. Schulz and Gabriel Marcella, Reconciling the Irreconcilable , pp. The New York Times , "U. Administration and the Bourgeoisie", 19 November Aristide's first choice for prime minister, Claudette Werleigh, is now Foreign Minister.

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Associated Press , "Downing: U. Can't be Haiti's Police Force", 18 October Les Cayes. Reuters , "U. InterPress Service , "Haiti-U. Soldier", 12 January Reuters , Carol Giacomo, "U. Associated Press , Michael Norton, "U. Secretary-General Arrives in Haiti", 31 March InterPress Service , 10 January Effort at Building New Force", 3 November Wants to Control New Police", 22 October Policy", 4 November For a more detailed discussion, see P.

Golberger, J-C Jean, M. Associated Press , Alexander G. Associated Press , "U. For an insight into the impact of U. United Press International , 8 September , Compuserve. Associated Press , George Gedda, "U. Associated Press , 14 December Associated Press , 6 September , Compuserve. Log in. Remember Me. Forgot password?

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