Haiti - UNMIH

Prepared by the Department of Public Information, United Nations - as of September 1996.

Not an official document of the United Nations.



End of mission summary

At the end of June 1996, the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) came to an end, concluding a major phase in United Nations efforts to help the Haitian people restore democracy, stability and the rule of law in their country. UNMIH formally took over on 31 March 1995 from the multinational force, authorized by the Security Council, which brought an end to the military coup that ousted the country's democratically elected government in 1991 and ensured the return of President Aristide in accordance with the Governors Island Agreement. In February 1996 the Security Council approved a final four-month extension of UNMIH's mandate, at a reduced strength of 1,200 military personnel and 300 civilian police. Canada provided an additional 700 troops at its own expense.

At its peak in June 1995, UNMIH deployed over 6,000 military personnel and some 850 civilian police. It completes its mission having:

UNMIH also made a significant contribution to restoring basic services and infrastructure in the country, which suffers from years of dictatorial neglect and international economic sanctions imposed on the illegal regime.

Secretary-General Recommends New UN Mission

Reflecting a request from the Haitian Government, the Secretary-General has proposed a new, smaller operation the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH). The new mission would help Haiti consolidate the gains already made in professionalizing the Haitian National Police and in maintaining a secure and stable environment conducive to the continued training efforts of the international community, and would coordinate UN-system action to promote institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabiliation in the country. (See separate Fact Sheet on UNSMIH).

UNMIH's Accomplishments, 1994-1996

Other UN assistance...

UNMIH's efforts complemented those of UN agencies already providing humanitarian and development assistance. By an arrangement unique in the UN system, the UNDP/DHA Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator of the UN system, Mr. Cristian Ossa, serves concurrently as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti. Actions initiated and directly funded by UN agencies in 1994 and 1995, following the return of President Aristide, included: UNDP projects in governance, poverty alleviation and environmental protection worth $32 million; UNICEF assistance to children totalling $8.5 million; food and technical assistance from WFP worth $5.5 million; $5 million in agricultural assistance from FAO; $3 million for health and family planning from UNFPA, and WHO/PAHO projects in administrative reform, family and community health worth $2.5 million.

UNMIH's Composition

Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Haiti and UNMIH Chiefs of Mission:

Enrique ter Horst (Venezuela)                  March 1996 to date
Lakhdar Brahimi (Algeria)                      September 1994-March 1996
Dante Caputo (Argentina)                       September 1993-September 1994
(Also Special Envoy of the Secretary-General,  December 1992-September 1994)

Force Commanders

Brigadier-General J.R.P. Daigle (Canada)       March 1996 to date

Major-General Joseph Kinzer (United States)    January 1995-March 1996

Commander of Military Unit

Colonel Gregg Pulley (United States)           October 1993*

Police Commissioners

Colonel Philippe Balladur (France)             February 1996  to date
Chief Superintendent Neil Pouliot (Canada)     July 1994-February 1996
Superintendent Jean-Jacques Lemay (Canada)     October 1993*

(*full deployment of UNMIH was prevented at this stage)

UNMIH Personnel

Military Personnel were contributed by 24 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Djibouti, France, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and United States.

Civilian Police were provided by 19 countries: Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Canada, Djibouti, France, Guinea Bissau, Jordan, Mali, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Togo.


UNMIH's estimated net expenditures for the period from 23 September 1993 until 31 May 1996 amounted to $315,794,700.

Background: The United Nations and Haiti

Haiti's democratically elected President, Jean Bertrand Aristide, (elected with 67 per cent of the vote in UN-observed elections in 1990) was overthrown in a military coup d'etat on 30 September 1991. The coup brought with it an alarming level of violence in the country, including political murders, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and other grave violations of human rights. Many of those killed were supporters of President Aristide. The UN General Assembly and the Security Council condemned the coup and the illegal r‚gime's use of violence, military coercion and the violation of human rights, while calling for restoration of the legitimate Government.

In December 1992, the Secretary-General appointed Mr. Dante Caputo of Argentina as his Special Envoy for Haiti to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis. In January 1993, Mr. Caputo was also appointed as Special Envoy of the Organization of American States (OAS).

In the following months, diplomatic efforts by the Special Envoy and others sought to bring about restoration of consitutional government in Haiti. Faced with intransigeance on the part of coup leaders, in June 1993 the Security Council imposed an oil and arms embargo against Haiti. Sanctions against Haiti were later suspended following the conclusion of agreements between the parties the Governors Island Agremeent and the New York Pact which offered a solution to the crisis and a beginning of national reconciliation.

Initial UNMIH mandate

On 23 September 1993, the Security Council authorized the establishment and immediate dispatch of the UNMIH for a period of six months. UNMIH was to include 567 civilian police monitors, and a military construction unit with 700 personnel, including 60 military trainers . Its mandate was to assist in modernizing the armed forces of Haiti and establishing a new police force. An UNMIH advance team of 53 military and 51 police personnel was rapidly deployed in Port-au-Prince. However, when the USS Harlan County carrying 220 United Nations military personnel arrived in Port-au-Prince on 11 October 1993, armed civilians ("attaches")" prevented the ship from landing.

Faced with the refusal of Haiti's military regime to implement the Governors Island agremeent, the Security Council reimposed its oil and arms embargoes on Haiti in October 1993. In May 1994, the Council adopted a comprehensive set of sanctions against Haiti.

Security Council endorses multinational force (MNF); expands UNMIH mandate

On 31 July 1994, the Council adopted turning-point resolution 940(1994). The resolution simultaneously authorized Member States to form a multinational force (MNF) under unified command and to use "all necessary means" to bring about an end to the illegal regime in Haiti prompt return of the legitimate President.

The resolution also expanded UNMIH's mandate to include assisting the legitimate Haitian Government in sustaining the secure and stable environment established during the multinational phase; professionalizing the Haitian armed forces and creating a separate police force; and assisting the constitutional authorities of Haiti in establishing an environment conducive to the organization of free and fair elections. UNMIH cooperated with the OAS in providing technical support to the Haitian electoral authorities. The Council later increased UNMIH's maximum authorized strength to 6,000 troops and 900 civilian police.

MNF moves in; legitimate President returns; UNMIH deploys

On 19 September 1994, the lead elements of the 28-nation multinational force, led by United States troops, landed in Haiti, unopposed. Among other operations, MNF searched for and seized weapons caches to protect public safety. On 15 October 1994, after the departure of the Haitian coup leaders, President Aristide returned to Haiti and resumed his functions, after three years in exile. (In Presidential elections on 17 December 1995, Mr. Rene Preval, President Aristide's Prime Minister in 1991 won with 87.9 per cent of the vote. President Preval assumed office on 7 February 1996.)

On 30 January 1995, the Security Council determined that a secure and stable environment, appropriate to the deployment of UNMIH, existed in Haiti. On 31 March 1995, the MNF handed over full responsibility to UNMIH.

Return to the Completed Mission List