Haiti: March 20, 2005


Peacekeepers haven't, and with only 3,000 police, the criminals are free to rampage. Over 400 have died in the violence during the last six months. The only order is that maintained by the gangsters, who claim towns or neighborhoods as their "turf", and defend it with force. Most of the criminal gangs have aligned themselves either with the leftist followers of ousted president Aristide, or members of the disbanded (a decade ago) army, who want the army reconstituted. A police force of 30-40,000 are needed to maintain order in this nation of eight million, but it would be years, perhaps as many as ten years, before a force that size is recruited and trained. Unfortunately, Haiti has never known a professional police force, or army. For two centuries, the people in charge maintained forces of armed, and uniformed, enforcers. When the 7,400 peacekeepers leave, there will probably not be enough trained police to keep the peace, and the usual strong men, and their followers, will fight it out to see who will be come most powerful gang leader in the country. Aristide says he will eventually return from exile, and there are thousands of armed followers in Haiti waiting for him. 


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