In Haiti, the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission Needs to Go Big or Go Home

In Haiti, the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission Needs to Go Big or Go Home
Police officers take cover during an anti-gang operation in the Portail neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, April 25, 2023 (AP photo by Odelyn Joseph).

Last week, the United Nations Security Council authorized a new peacekeeping mission to Haiti, with 13 votes in favor and Russia and China abstaining. The authorization comes after months of requests from Haiti for international assistance in fighting gangs that have all but taken over the capital city, Port-au-Prince.

The current plan for the peacekeeping force, which will deploy in 2024, is for 1,000 police officers from Kenya to travel to Haiti to help take on the gangs. Several other nations have also pledged a small number of personnel, but no other substantial commitments appear likely. The U.S. has promised up to $200 million in funding for the one-year mission, which the U.N. will review after nine months to determine if it should be extended.

Now that the mission has a U.N. mandate, however, the question is whether it will be enough to make a difference. And there’s no shortage of reasons to believe it won’t.

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