Haiti: Security Compromised

Recycled Haitian Soldiers On the Police Front Line

The United States-dominated multinational force entered Haiti on September 19, 1994, with a mandate to "use all necessary means...to establish and maintain a secure and stable environment...." The force's presence permitted the reinstatement of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and a reduction in the severe human rights abuses that plagued Haiti during the three year military regime. Yet as the multinational force prepares to turn over operations to the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) on March 31, 1995, political tensions are increasing and far from having brought stability, the U.S.-led force can point only to a fragile security that impending parliamentary and presidential elections may rupture. Since the UNMIH mandate is designed solely to maintain a secure environment and will prohibit law enforcement, increasing responsibilities will soon fall onto Haiti's only functioning security force, an interim police force composed entirely of former members of the same military whose brutal human rights record initially galvanized the international effort to restore democracy to Haiti.