U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan called yesterday for the deployment of a new U.N. mission to Haiti which would include 6,700 troops and more than 1,600 international police and experts.

The peacekeeping force would replace 3,600 U.S.-led multinational troops sent to stabilize Haiti following the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Annan said in a report to the Security Council that a transfer of authority to the U.N. force would take place by June 1 and that the multinational troops would withdraw in phases.  Some of the 2,000 U.S. troops in Haiti could become part of the U.N. mission, a senior U.S. official told Associated Press.

The United Nations is seeking to avoid the pitfalls of the previous 10 international missions to the Caribbean nation in the last decade.  The last U.N. mission, which ended in 2001, was “too brief and fraught with both international and domestic hindrances,” Annan said.

Annan proposed that the new mission, which would be called the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, stay for an initial period of 24 months.

It must also be a partnership with the Haitian people and with regional organizations such as the Caribbean Community, known as CARICOM, and the Organization of American States, Annan said.  Caribbean nations have refused to supply troops for the U.S.-led peacekeeping force but could still contribute to a U.N. force, according to AP.

Annan said the mission would provide security in major towns and along main roads and would work alongside Haitian and international police to disarm combatants.  It should also include experts on human rights, HIV/AIDS, gender and civil affairs “to help create the necessary conditions for a functioning democracy, as well as for the establishment and strengthening of legitimate local authority throughout the country.”

He also warned that the United Nations had not received sufficient contributions in response to its $35 million appeal for emergency aid (Edith Lederer, AP/Yahoo! News, April 20).

Brazil has agreed to command the U.N. force in Haiti, but only if there is an “effective commitment” from the international community for the reconstruction of the island nation, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said yesterday.

Last month, Brazil offered to command the force and said it would contribute 1,100 troops.

Lula said yesterday that the “tragedy that the Middle East and Iraq are undergoing today” strengthened his conviction of  “the importance of an international order based on law, multilateralism and the United Nations.”

The Security Council is expected to take up a resolution on the proposed U.N. force in the next few days (Xinhua News Agency/ReliefWeb, April 20).