Haiti: former Senator detained after UN mission finds illegal weapons

3 January 2006 – United Nations peacekeepers found unlicensed weapons in a vehicle being driven by former Haitian Senator Dany Toussaint near Cap Haitien and turned him over to police who briefly detained the politician.

Chilean troops serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) stopped the black pickup truck containing Mr. Toussaint and his three passengers on Monday.

“At first, the driver refused to identify himself, claiming immunity as a former senator and presidential candidate in the coming elections, and he refused to have his vehicle searched,” the mission said in a news release from Port-au-Prince today.

After finally identifying himself, Mr. Toussaint was asked whether he had a license for the two loaded 9mm pistols the troops discovered. One out-of-date permit was presented for the first weapon, and another, which did not correspond to either weapon, for the second.

This was in violation of Haitian regulations governing firearms, and Mr. Toussaint and his passengers were transferred to the Haitian National Police, who released him hours later.

According to its mandate from the Security Council, MINUSTAH is required “to concentrate the use of its resources, including civilian police, towards increasing security and protection during the electoral period” and “to assist with the restoration and maintenance of the rule of law, public safety and public order in Haiti.”

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