By AMY BRACKEN, Associated Press Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Forty-two Brazilian soldiers flew into Haiti on Saturday, the vanguard of a force to command a new U.N. peacekeeping mission taking over from the U.S.-led multinational force.

A ceremonial handover is planned June 1, though the transition will continue through the month. Some 1,500 U.S. Marines and 400 U.S. soldiers and sailors are to leave by the end of June.

The U.S. troops are bringing aid to thousands of people left homeless by floods and landslides in the last week, but their main mission is disarming militias after the Feb. 29 resignation of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

“Our first mission here is providing security and then we will add to that political, economic and social stability,” Lt. Col. Antonio Carlos Faillace said after arriving Saturday.

Arriving Tuesday will be Brazilian generals Augusto Heleno, who will command the U.N. force, and Americo Salvador de Oliveira, who will be in charge of the Brazilian contingent, Faillace said.

Brazil’s 850 soldiers will provide the core of the U.N.-mandated force of 6,700 troops and 1,622 police.

Chile has already committed 650 troops and Argentina plans to send up to 600. Another 10 countries are sending troops and 22 countries are sending civilian police.

The U.N. mission is expected to last six months, but Brazilian defense ministry officials acknowledge troops may need to remain longer.