Brazilian Head Of MINUSTAH Is Grateful For Help From US Troops

By Dialogo
January 22, 2010

In an interview published today by the daily O Globo, Brazilian Gen. Floriano Peixoto, commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti, expressed appreciation for the work of US troops in aiding the victims of the January 12 earthquake." "The United States soldiers act professionally, courteously, and respectfully,” Peixoto declared, thereby countering reports of supposed “rivalries” between Brazil and the United States in the humanitarian work being done in Haiti. The Brazilian general leads the troops of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which has around nine thousand soldiers and police from some thirty countries. In recent days, as part of its aid plan following the earthquake, the United States has deployed around ten thousand soldiers to the Antillean nation and plans to send another four thousand in coming days. According to Peixoto, “this contribution of men for humanitarian aid is beneficial,” and “the roles” of MINUSTAH and of the troops that have joined the rescue and assistance missions “have been clearly defined.” MINUSTAH is responsible “for maintaining security,” and this task continues to be “under the absolute control” of this arm of the UN, affirmed the general, who maintained that the intention of the United States is not “to fight over” space in this terrain. “It needs to be made quite clear that this collaboration (by the United States) is dedicated to humanitarian aid, with enormous respect and cooperation,” he underlined. With regard to the situation in Port-au-Prince ten days after the devastating earthquake, Peixoto said that “it’s improving day by day,” since more and more streets are becoming “passable,” facilitating management of the “enormous amount of aid” arriving in the country. Nevertheless, he admitted that “the demand (for aid) is still much greater than the supply,” and that attempts are underway “to bring in more troops from other countries to increase the distribution capacity.”