Originally: Haiti: UN calls for urgently disbanding illegal armed groups threatening stability

10 September 2004 ? Against a backdrop of stepped-up activities by rogue elements in Haiti, the United Nations Security Council today called for the urgent disbanding of all illegal armed groups undermining stability and security in parts of the strife-torn Caribbean country.

In a presidential statement adopted following a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi, the 15-member body called on the Transitional Government to complete without delay preparations needed to implement the national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme.

The statement, read out the Council President for September, Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo of Spain, also urged contributing countries to “do their utmost to expedite the early deployment of their personnel” in troops and civilian police for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), set up in April to bring peace to the country after violent unrest forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to leave.

The Mission assumed operational responsibilities from a multinational force at the end of June, and at present has more than 2,700 troops on the ground. But Mr. Annabi told the Council the Transitional Government and MINUSTAH had faced a more challenging security environment in recent days, as members of the former Haitian armed forces took over police stations in several areas.

“The Security Council stresses the urgency of disbanding and disarming all illegal armed groups,” the Council statement said, stressing that stability and security remain key to the political and economic reconstruction efforts.

“The Security Council underlines that only a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue in Haiti can lay down the foundations of a peaceful and democratic political environment,” it added, calling upon all Haitian political actors to participate in the national dialogue, as well as in the transition and in elections to be held in 2005.

The statement stressed the importance of building an effective and professional national police, underlined the urgency of improving human rights in the country, including women’s rights, and reiterated that an end to impunity is key to national reconciliation in Haiti.