Marjorie C. Hallworth

After 13 years, the Security Council voted last week to end the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in Haiti. One would have thought that it was a peacekeeping mission; but it was not. It was a horrendous mission that mutilated countless Haitian children. It has been reported that the Peacekeepers have sexually exploited and abused Haitian boys and girls as young as 12 years old by luring them with candies and cookies.

In the wake of the coup D’état of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, Military troops and police from 56 countriesaround the world positioned in Haiti with a yearly budget of almost 1 billion dollars. The operation name is MINUSTAH, which is a French acronym Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haiti. Also known as UNSTAMIH an acronym for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

By 2009, after the appointment of former U.S president Bill Clinton as the special envoy to Haiti, the United Nations Security Council universally voted for MINUSTAH to extend their mission for an additional year.

As the MINUSTAH troops being stationed at different locations, several outlet news of Haiti have reported the killings of civilians, rape, the impregnation of underage girls, and child prostitution by the MINUSTAH troops. “A 16-year-old boy, who did tasks for the Nepalese was found hanging from a tree inside the base in the north coast of Haiti at Cap Haitian. Employees of the nearby Hotel Henri Christophe heard painful cries from inside the United Nations base, “They are suffocating me”. Yet, no one took responsibility for that heinous crime.

It was also reported that MINUSTAH troops have aided a massacre that took place at Les Cayes prison in South East of Haiti. By 2011, it was discovered that MINUSTAH troops have brought Cholera in Haiti, which killed more than 10,000 people.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of Port-au-Prince, protesting the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti .Instead of stopping the abuse; the MINUSTAH troops have violently suppressed demonstrators with tear gas and live ammunition. Habitation Leclerc is a historic building that was built during the 19th century for Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister Pauline Bonaparte and her husband General Victoire Emmanuel-Leclerc, who was at the time French Governor of Haiti.

In 1944, Habitation Leclerc was purchased by the late and well- known American dancer Katherine Dunham, who in uenced the Alvin Ailey dance school and also customized Haitian Folklore dance techniques in her career. Dunham then transformed Habitation Leclerc into a resort. Many famous people such as Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy and Mick Jagger had stayed at the beautiful resort.

In the late 80s, as the political turmoil has gotten worse, Habitation Leclerc was shut down.

By 2004 the property was uninhabitable and several orphaned Haitian children made it their home. Unfortunately, several MINUSTAH troops were based nearby that property and had access to these vulnerable children. Needless to say that countless children were physically abused, raped and sodomized. According to an investigation report released by AP about the United Nations Mission in Haiti, at least 134 Sri Lankans troops have exploited or raped numbers of innocent children during the year 2004-2007. None of these troops were ever prosecuted or imprisoned, only 114 of them were sent back to their country.

A former U.N. investigator stated that three Pakistanis raped a mentally disabled 13-year-old boy in the northern city of Gonaives, they then abducted the boy to keep him from detailing the abuse that had happened. One teenage boy said that he was gang-raped in 2011 by Uruguayan troops, who filmed the alleged assault on a cellphone.

A young girl said she didn’t even have breast yet when the MINUSTAH troops started having sex with her; they would at time give her cookies or juice.

Another 15 year boy said more than 100 MINUSTAH troops had sex with him more than 4 times a day; and somedays they would remove their name tag before taking him to other soldiers to do oral sex or being sodomized.

One of the kids stated receiving .75 cent from a commander after being raped. How awful is that? Those poor children who were being raped were also seeing those rapists walking around on the streets daily with their military uniforms and guns on hands. Anyone who has been to Haiti knows that those victims were no doubt the poorest of the poor.

Jacmel is a commune in southern Haiti which has the most beautiful beaches any one could ever see. Among several victims interviewed, one particular girl said she was a 16-year-old virgin when a Brazilian troop lured her to the United Nations compound with a smear of peanut butter on bread, raped her at gunpoint and left her pregnant. She finds herself constantly in tears looking at a daughter she gave birth from being raped; and all she can think of is death. According to the report, dozens of other women were raped and left pregnant but never reported out of fear they would be blamed and are afraid for their lives since the rapists stationed nearby.

The sexual acts described by those victims are just too agonizing. Last year, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker gave an interview to the AP where he recalled his disgust at hearing of the U.N. sexual abuse cases uncovered in Central African Republic. “If I heard that a U.N. peacekeeping mission was coming near my home in Chattanooga,” he told AP, “I’d be on the first plane out of here to go back and protect my family.” Evidently, MINUSTAH troops were not de- ployed to stabilize Haiti. Where is the accountability from the United Nations for sending rapists to abuse those children? The question remains why the United Nations Security Council extended military troops in Haiti knowingly that Haiti’s problem is and has always been social economics.