Originally: Daily Press Briefing: June 4, 2004
In accordance with UN Resolution 1542, MINUSTAH, the UN stabilization
mission in Haiti, began deploying on June 1 under Brazilian command in
Haiti where it is taking over from the multinational interim force.
As you know, French troops took part in the multinational interim force in
Haiti whose mission was to build confidence among Haitians. They worked
for the necessary political dialogue and for the re-establishment of the
Haitian police in the northern part of the island.
In order to participate, in the context of the mandate of SCR 1529, in the
transition which has now begun in Haiti and to assist in the establishment
of MINUSTAH under the best possible conditions, France has decided to
conduct its withdrawal in stages through June 30.
I’d like to remind you that Haiti suffered from severe flooding which
moreover justified the fact that Michel Barnier was there last Friday
after being in Guadalajara for the EU/Latin American summit. In this
context France provided support to the Haitian authorities, in particular
by making our forces’ air resources, in this instance, helicopters,
immediately available. This made it possible to deliver our emergency
relief to the affected areas. Land assets can be used now, and that is why
the aid is now being delivered on the ground and not in the air.
Q – Are French troops going to take part in MINUSTAH eventually?
No. We took part militarily in the multinational interim force with a contingent 900 strong. We do not envision however a military
participation in MINUSTAH. We will have a police and gendarme contingent
of some 90 people in the context of missions to train the Haitian police.
As you know, the force is under Brazilian command and is beginning to
deploy now with a number of Latin-American contingents and will be
increased in strength.