MINUSTAH Sends 2,100 Soldiers into CitÃ© Soleil, Aristide Celebrates Birthday
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has sent more than 2,100 of its soldiers to key neighborhoods within the capital of Port-au-Prince in what is calling "Operation Phoenix".
Operation Phoenix is a joint security operation between MINUSTAH and the Police Nationale d'Haiti (PNH) and is intended to break up criminal activity in key areas of the capital, the neighborhoods of Bel Air, CitÃ© Soleil and Martissant, according to a MINUSTAH news release.
âWe want to show the population that MINUSTAH, according to its mandate, remains determined to fight against crime in Haiti, in support of Haitian authorities,â said Major-General Luiz Ramos, the missionâs Force Commander.
âThis 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,â said Maj.-Gen. Ramos.
MINUSTAH containing 12,000 military and police personnel has been providing security in Haiti for more than 7 years when former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile. A major crackdown took place in CitÃ© Soleil following the exile in which on July 6, 2005, at 3 a.m. in the morning, 1,440 Brazilian and Jordanian soldiers sealed off Cite Soleil with 41 Armored Personnel Carriers and attacked residents.
Helicopters dropped grenades and UN troops fired more than 22,000 bullets, leaving untold dozens of civilian casualties, including women and children, who were among the criminal elements, according to reports.
In other news, this operation marks the birthday of the former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was born in Port-Salut, Haiti, July 15, 1953. Aristide returned from exile in March of this year and has remained out of the public's eye.
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