Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Brazil to withdraw troops from Haiti

Brazil's Defence Minister Celso Amorim has said that the country plans to withdraw its troops from the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti. He said the gradual process of withdrawal would be co-ordinated with the UN and other South American nations.

Speaking to the BBC Amorim added: “We can't have a disorganised exit that creates a situation of chaos."

The situation in Haiti has improved since the mission began in 2004 following the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Amorim noted that there had been two democratic elections since the force was deployed. He said: “Political science manuals teach that the second election shows that democracy has been established… In the medium and long term, it is not good for Haiti and it is not good for those who are there that the mission be perpetuated."

A timetable for the withdrawal is yet to be drawn-up. As Amorim noted the process would be gradual especially because Brazil's troops have responsibility for the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

There are more than 2,000 Brazilian troops in Haiti, out of a total UN force of around 12,000. Brazil was keen to take lead of the UN mission in a bid to play a greater role in regional security and gain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, WSJ

For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.

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