Originally: Haiti: UN team plans to open routes to area controlled by rebels

Haiti: UN team plans to open routes to area controlled by rebels
A United Nations team has visited Hinche, a now-isolated town northeast of the capital, to assess the security and humanitarian situations in an area controlled by discharged Haitian military forces along the border with the Dominican Republic, the country with which Haiti shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) said a second object of yesterday’s visit to the town, 130 kilometres from Port-au-Prince on the Central Plateau, was to prepare local political and religious authorities for the arrival of the full contingent of peacekeepers for the area.

The population needed safe drinking water and electricity, as well as repaired roads on which they could take their farm produce to market, a religious group said. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Adama Guindo said MINUSTAH would take note of their needs.

The team was welcomed by UN commander Col. Amadou Mbaye, who said his force comprised seven police from Senegal, Canada and Burkina Faso and 39 troops from Brazil, but he was expecting a Nepalese contingent, MINUSTAH said.

Faced with the problems of handling the 300 discharged Haitian troops on the border and worsening insecurity around Hinche, the UN force would patrol Hinche, Maïssade, Thomassique, Cerca Carvajal and Lascahobas, as well as the border, MINUSTAH said.

In the unrest that led to the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Hinche was one of the towns that anti-government fighters seized.