Haiti: February 3, 2005


UN peacekeepers and police can muster only about 15,000 armed men, which is not enough to keep the peace. There are dozens of criminal gangs and private militias. Many of the gangs support former president Aristide, while the private militias, many composed of former soldiers, want the army revived. The gangs and militias control towns and neighborhoods, and skirmish with each other daily. Robbery and burglary are common, and armed escorts are needed for relief supply convoys in some areas. This situation has been going on for a year now. Foreign nations are unwilling to provide more peacekeepers, feeling that it would be too expensive and too bloody, and not likely to succeed in the long run. Haiti has been run by corrupt leaders, and generally poor and disorderly, for the last two centuries. Thus it is difficult to get the media excited about doing something that would likely work. At the same time, no one wants Haiti to turn into another Somalia. Elections are scheduled for October and November, which will give the the UN and opportunity to declare that they have out of money for Haiti peacekeeping, and leave (perhaps after declaring their efforts a success.) Another tyrant will take over in Haiti, use terror and violence to impose a degree of order, and so it will go until the next collapse.  


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