Peacekeepers’ Role Evolves After Quake
By Dialogo April 01, 2010Thatâ€™s why dialogue is good and informing about everything going on in the world we live in.
DIÁLOGO: This special edition of Diálogo highlights the relief
efforts by countries of this hemisphere for the Haitian people. Uruguay is part of
the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti and participated in these efforts.
What was Uruguay’s specific role?
Gen. Felicio de los Santos: The significant presence of our
personnel in Haitian territory enabled us from the first moment — despite being
deployed with one battalion to the north and another to the south — to send troops
rapidly to Port-au-Prince in order to collaborate in the various aid operations that
were priorities at that time. Additionally, the government of Uruguay decided to
immediately send a specialized rescue team with dogs to search for survivors. We are
proud of the excellent work they did.
DIÁLOGO: How did the role of the Uruguayan Armed Forces evolve
after the earthquake?
Gen. De los Santos: Principally, our efforts with regard to
security aspects have been reoriented to ensure stability in this crisis situation,
but our troops have also redoubled their efforts to collaborate in all humanitarian
DIÁLOGO: Uruguay participates extensively in peace missions
around the world. Why has Uruguay historically focused on missions of this kind?
Gen. De los Santos: Uruguay has been a member of the United
Nations since the year the organization was created, and participating in peace
missions has been the way our country has historically contributed to international
peace and security. This forms part of the country’s foreign policy and is in line
with our people’s desire to help pacify regions in conflict.