United Nations (United States) (AFP)
The United Nations Security Council on Friday extended the UN mission in Haiti for nine months after a last-minute compromise was reached between Western powers and China.
The council passed a resolution extending the term of less than a year that the United States had requested, but more than the six months desired by Beijing.
The proposal was adopted unanimously by 15 votes to none.
The vote came shortly after 6:00 p.m. (10:00 p.m. GMT), just hours before the political mission expired, extending it until July 15, 2022.
Haiti is currently in the grip of a deep political, economic, social and security crisis.
There has been no parliament sitting for over a year and a half amid strife, with the country placed under one-man rule by President Jovenel Moise, who was assassinated in July.
Beijing had signaled that it would veto a US plan to extend the term by one year.
China had drafted its own text proposing a six-month extension before Friday’s last iteration was approved.
In the end, they agreed on nine months with a provision that the Secretary-General would conduct an assessment after six months.
The “BINUH” was established in October 2019 after the end of 15 years of UN peacekeeping operations and has been a frequent source of contention between Washington and Beijing.
Its mandate includes strengthening political stability and good governance.
China has often said that there should be no external solutions to Haiti’s problems, but UN diplomats say it wants to punish Haiti for its recognition of Taiwan.
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council agreed to postpone elections in Haiti until the second half of 2022.
The United States, the most influential foreign actor in Haiti, had previously pushed for elections this year to restore democratic legitimacy amid the power vacuum.
Haiti’s unrest, including a devastating earthquake, has driven tens of thousands to flee, with footage of US border guards on horseback rudely rounding up Haitians, sparking outrage in the United States.
© 2021 AFP