Chile Seeks Planned Withdrawal of Its Troops in Haiti

By Dialogo
December 22, 2011

Chile wants to begin a “gradual and proportionate” withdrawal of the troops participating in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), starting in 2012 and lasting until 2016, Defense Minister Andrés Allamand said.

“The idea is to establish a timeline for the Chilean military presence in Haiti. Along those lines, the plan that we’ve developed (…) is that next year, we should move forward on a gradual and proportionate withdrawal of our troops” in Haiti, Allamand said, when submitting his ministry’s annual report.

According to the Minister, “if the current situation in Haiti is maintained, there will have been ten years of democratic normality by that date, and the second orderly transfer of power from one democratic administration to another will have taken place.”

Chile has contributed troops to the United Nations peace mission in Haiti since 2004, alongside Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, and it maintains a contingent of around 500 military and police personnel in that country.

In August, during a visit to Chile, Haitian President Michel Martelly expressed his desire that MINUSTAH become a “development” mission.

Today, MINUSTAH has around 12,000 personnel, including 8,900 soldiers and 3,300 police officers, and is commanded by former Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernández.

MINUSTAH was created by the UN to replace the multinational force of 3,600 – composed chiefly of U.S. and French personnel – that arrived in Haiti in February 2004 seeking to reestablish security and facilitate the distribution of humanitarian aid following the departure of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.