The United Nations and the Haitian National Police (HNP) have launched a joint security operation to crack down on criminal activity in key areas of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
“Operation Phoenix” was launched yesterday in the neighbourhoods of Bel Air, Cité Soleil and Martissant, according to a news release issued by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
The mission sent more than 2,100 peacekeepers into the three neighbourhoods as part of the operation, which is designed to help the Haitian authorities provide security and stability for the residents of Port-au-Prince.
“We want to show the population that MINUSTAH, according to its mandate, remains determined to fight against crime in Haiti, in support of Haitian authorities,” Major-General Luiz Ramos, the mission’s Force Commander, underscored.
Once the security operations are completed, he noted, MINUSTAH will undertake a number of civil and military cooperation activities along with the residents such as clearing debris and garbage from the streets, setting up dental and medical clinics, engineering projects and road improvements.
“This will be a multi-day operation that is designed to provide long-term presence in these neighbourhoods to reinforce trust and confidence between the residents, HNP and MINUSTAH,” said Maj.-Gen. Ramos.
MINUSTAH, with over 12,000 military and police personnel currently deployed around the country, has been on the ground since mid-2004 after then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest.