PORT-AU-PRINCE — (AP) — U.N. troops are coming back to Haiti, but after a decade of failed missions many in the traumatized nation wonder whether the peacekeepers — cobbled together from countries ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe — are up to the task.
Although the handover is today, only a few dozen of the U.N. force have arrived.
Brightly colored flags of about two dozen participating nations dot empty barracks at the airport. Only samples of the blue U.N. hats and berets have arrived.
And it is still unclear where the U.N. mission’s headquarters will be located, said Adama Guindo, a U.N. representative who will head the six-month mission until a permanent leader is appointed.
Floods that killed nearly 1,700 people last week and stranded thousands in remote villages have forced U.S. troops to stay past their June 1 departure date.
American and French forces in the four-nation force passing the baton to the United Nations are the only ones with helicopters to bring aid to otherwise unreachable villages.
Unless they get new marching orders, the 1,900 U.S. troops will leave at the end of June — many to return to combat in Iraq.
Some Canadian and French troops in the 3,600-member U.S.-led force, which arrived in February when a rebellion ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, will join the U.N. mission.
Chile was sending 165 sailors expected Tuesday to replace its troops in the U.S.-led force.
The United Nations says there will be 6,700 troops and 1,622 civilian police from 30 countries led by 1,200 Brazilian troops.