United Nations Mission in Haïti (UNMIH)
- 27 December 1994 - 11 April 1996
- Military personnel
The slave population of Haiti freed itself in 1804 from the French colonial yoke and proclaimed the independent republic of Haiti in 1806. Civil wars and a low level of development, however, prevented the Haitian economy from flourishing.
The political leaders regarded their office primarily as a profitable undertaking. Corruption, nepotism and political assassinations were the order of the day. At the end of the 1980s, Haiti launched itself into an arduous and uncertain process of democratisation, which resulted in December 1990 in the election of the left-wing priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, as president. With his uncompromising democratisation and reform policies, he set the country’s elite against him. Led by commander-in-chief Raoul Cedras, the army deposed Aristide in October 1991.
The Security Council imposed an embargo on 16 June 1993 and, in July 1994, called upon member states to use force if necessary to ensure the return of Aristide. Just a matter of hours before a multinational force swung into action, however, US negotiators managed to reach an agreement with the Haitian leaders.
Once a semblance of calm had been restored, the force handed over its tasks to the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH). UNMIH:
- ensured that internal stability and security were maintained in Haiti;
- protected foreign officials and important installations;
- supported the authorities in creating the right conditions for free and fair elections;
- and assisted in the professionalisation of the armed forces.