Haiti: March 27, 2005


A three way war is shaping up, with UN peacekeepers, armed followers of former president Aristide and ex soldiers forming three mutually antagonistic groups getting ready to fight each other. There is a forth force as well, criminal gangs ready to pick up the pieces wherever they can.

The UN feels it has the Aristide followers outgunned, and is concentrating on dealing with the more dangerous ex-soldiers. The UN is stepping up ifs offers of "mustering out" pay, a money-for-guns deal, and the availability of slots in the new national police academy for former soldiers and policemen. This, it is believed, will reduce the strength of the former soldier groups. Also, the presence of  750 Nepalese troops and  800 Sri Lankans, many of whom  are apparently combat veterans, provides a force that can deal with any armed Haitians who want to fight.. Total UN peacekeeper strength is now about 6,400. Brazil has about 1,500 troops, Sri Lanka 800, Nepal and Jordan 750 each, plus over a dozen, smaller, other contingents.


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