Haiti: Justice Minister Orders Use of Force against Remobilized Soldiers
- Friday, March 23, 2012 7:19 AM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - The Minister of Justice and Jublic Safety, Michel Brunache, Thursday ordered Haitian National Police Director, Mario Andresol, to utilize unconditional enforcement against gunmen in uniform who claim to be of the former Armed Forces of Haiti.
Minister Brunache, according to Radio Kiskeya, gave orders to the National Police of Haiti to immediately cease their activities in the territory likely to "endanger the foundations of the rule of law."
These tough new instructions also emphasize the need for police to dislodge government buildings and former military bases from occupants, men alleged to be former soldiers. Some, about 50, have recently invested since Monday at the Northern Department of Agriculture in Cap-Haitien (274 km north of Port-au-Prince).
"The circulation of uniformed men armed and sometimes belonging to neither MINUSTAH nor the PNH is absolutely unacceptable. The police must act with the utmost rigor in order to end the illegal situation which disturbs the public order," it read in a letter addressed to the Director General of the PNH, Mario Andresol, whose copy was given to the press.
Minister Brunache ordered the commander of the police to "take all appropriate measures to stop these actions that violate the constitution and laws of the republic," becoming the first Martelly administration official to make a direct order to law enforcement.
Before the Minister of Justice, the Ministry of Interior and National Defense on Wednesday made calls in the press for the remobilized soldiers to withdrawal from barracks, citing state penalties and the freezing of the process of compensation - as many former solders are claiming for unpaid pensions since 1995.
In Cap-Haitien at Lamentin camp (south of the capital) through other parts of the country where they impose their presence, alleged members of the former FAd'H-engaged in tactical maneuvers in the company of young people of both sexes in camouflage-demand payment of 18 years of back pay as compensation and reintegration into the army disbanded in 1995 after a succession of coups and continuing violations of human rights.
President Michel Martelly has repeatedly stated his commitment to provide the country with a new army that will replace the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti force. The president has referred the case to a civilian commission.
The UN Mission has expressed its readiness to intervene and support the Haitian National Police in disbanding the soldiers in training.
The project to remobilize the Haitian army does not have the support of key partners of Haiti as the United States remained hostile to fund the restoration.
Related 03.21.2012: U.N. Mission says Ready to Intervene with Remobilized Haitian Army
Related 03.20.2012: Haiti: Disbanded Soldiers Take Position at Agriculture Office in North
Related 03.13.2012: Haiti : Demobilized Military Forces Increase Numbers, Continue to Train