The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which was established on 1 June 2004 by Security Council resolution 1542, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this Sunday, June 1st. The mission's military component is led by the Brazilian Army and the force commander is always a Brazilian general. The current force commander is Brazilian Army Lieutenant General Jose Luiz Jaborandy Jr.
The UN mission succeeded a Multinational Interim Force (MIF) authorized by the Security Council in February 2004, after Haitian President Bertrand Aristide departed Haiti for exile in the aftermath of an armed conflict which spread to several cities across the country.
On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. The Haitian government estimates the resulting death toll was greater than 200,000, and the International Red Cross says that up to three million people were affected.
The international community immediately responded with an outpouring of relief efforts and solidarity to the crisis, providing critical humanitarian aid to the Haitian people at the request of the government of Haiti.
The devastating earthquake also claimed the lives of foreign residents in Haiti and of military personnel and police officers stationed at MINUSTAH, many of whom were from Latin America. The United Nations reported that 84 of their employees died during the quake, but the Brazilian Army suffered the brunt of the military casualties, with 18 peacekeepers dead in the line of duty.
On 19 January 2010, the Security Council passed Resolution 1908, endorsing the Secretary-General's recommendation to increase MINUSTAH’s overall force levels to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction and stability efforts in the Caribbean country.
Following Haiti’s 2011 general elections, MINUSTAH has been working to fulfill its original mandate to restore a secure and stable environment, promote the political process, strengthen Haiti’s government institutions and rule-of-law-structures, as well as promote and protect human rights.