The Peacekeeper The Military Activities of MINUSTAH

(Cover photo by Logan Abassi, UN/MINUSTAH)

In this issue

  • Message from the Force Commander
  • Hurricane Matthew Relief
  • Support for National Elections
  • URUPERBAT Community Outreach
  • Around MINUSTAH
  • Farewells
  • Current Military Deployment

The Peacekeeper

Force Commander: Lt. Gen. Ajax Porto Pinheiro (BRA)

Deputy Force Commander: Brig. Gen. Andrés Leandro Fuentealba Gómez (CHI)

Chief of Staff: Col. Mark Gasparotto (CAN)

Editor-in-Chief: Col. Alexandre Lima, MPIO (BRA)

Editorial Staff: Maj. Tristan Hinderliter (USA), Ssg. Faizal Kasan (PHL)

Reviewer & Translator: Mr. Herberle Estinord (HAITI)

Happy Holidays from MINUSTAH Force Commander

Commentary by Lt. Gen. Ajax Porto Pinheiro

As we near the end of the year, I want to take a moment to say happy holidays and thank you to everyone in the MINUSTAH military component for your hard work and service to the mission this year.

What a year it has been. In the face of natural disasters and political turmoil, we have been remarkably successful in creating a secure and stable environment in Haiti. After being postponed several times, national elections were successfully held on Nov. 20. Thanks in large part to the deterrence provided by our soldiers deployed across the country, elections were carried out with minimal violence and civil unrest. Our troops also distributed election materials to remote areas, partnered with UN Police and Haitian National Police on joint patrols and facilitated the safe return of election materials to tabulation centers after polls closed.

This fall we also endured Hurricane Matthew, the worst natural disaster to strike Haiti since the catastrophic earthquake of 2010. Hundreds were killed and tens of thousands of Haitians were affected by the storm. When Matthew made landfall on Oct. 4, it destroyed homes, crops and livestock, and caused widespread devastation. I’m proud that we were able to quickly respond to the humanitarian crisis, distribute hundreds of tons of supplies, and deliver life-saving food, water and medicine to those most affected by the storm. Our soldiers secured helicopter landing zones, provided security for the warehousing and distribution of supplies, and ensured aid was distributed in a secure and orderly manner. MINUSTAH engineers were among the first to respond to the hardest-hit areas in the southwest part of the country, using their expertise and heavy equipment to open blocked roads, clear debris and repair infrastructure.

We did these things and more with a very diverse coalition. We have approximately 2,370 personnel from 19 countries serving in the military component. We speak various languages and come from very different cultural backgrounds. Yet we were able to come together, to plan and carry out missions, in support of the UN mandate to stabilize Haiti. Thank you so much for your hard work, sacrifice, and commitment to our shared goals. As we have facilitated the electoral process, provided humanitarian aid and supported many other lines of effort, I know you have worked long hours. I know we have been away from our families. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed. I would like to extend my thanks not only to you, but to your families and loved ones back home who sacrifice as well.

Please accept my warmest wishes for a happy holiday season, Merry Christmas and an excellent New Year, to you and your families and friends.

The current UN mandate is set to expire in April 2017. Over the next few weeks and months we will hopefully get a better idea of what this mission will look like going forward, but in any event, you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished in 2016. Rest assured it has made a big difference for Haiti. I salute you for your service and consider myself humbled and honored to serve as your commander.

Hurricane Matthew Relief

Hurricane Matthew ripped through Haiti on Oct. 4, 2016, assaulting the southern coast with 233-km-per-hour winds and causing extensive devastation. The Category 4 storm destroyed homes, crops and livestock, cut off transportation routes, and caused widespread human suffering. The latest figures from the governmental Directorate of Civil Protection of Haiti have so far confirmed 546 deaths and many more injured as a result of the hurricane. Matthew was the worst natural disaster to strike the island nation since the 2010 earthquake.

MINUSTAH actively assisted with recovery efforts in the immediate aftermath and weeks following the storm.

The Aftermath

The worst part of the storm hit the south western peninsula of Haiti, with the cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie receiving the full force, sustaining wind and water damage across wide areas.

(Photos by Logan Abassi, UN/MINUSTAH)

Humanitarian Aid Distribution

UN peacekeepers assisted in providing relief to the people of Haiti through the distribution food, water and medicine to those most affected by the storm.

(Photos by Logan Abassi, UN/MINUSTAH)

Security

UN peacekeepers, along with UN Police, Formed Police Units and HNP conducted patrols to as a show of force to curtail any criminal activities in the wake of the hurricane. UN units also ensured aid was distributed in an orderly and secure manner.

(Photos by Logan Abassi and Igor Rugwiza, UN/MINUSTAH)

Engineering

MINUSTAH engineer units were among the first organizations to come to the aid of Haitians on the western peninsula of the country, which was hardest hit by the hurricane. Troops put their expertise and heavy equipment to use clearing debris and repairing infrastructure after the storm.

(Photos courtesy UN/MINUSTAH)

Support for National Elections

Following widespread protests after the 2015 national elections in Haiti, the runoff originally scheduled for Dec. 27, 2015 was postponed several times. In April 2016, the Provisional Electoral Council announced that a fresh presidential election would be held on Oct. 9. That race was further postponed due to Hurricane Matthew, which made landfall in Haiti on Oct. 4. The election was rescheduled and conducted on Nov. 20. Election observers and the Provisional Electoral Council offered broadly positive assessments, and the day was accompanied by minimal violence.

The MINUSTAH military component facilitated the democratic process by distributing election materials to remote areas, partnering with UN Police and Haitian National Police on joint patrols, providing security via overt deterrence, and facilitating the safe return of election materials to tabulation centers after polls closed.

Elections Material Delivery & Collection

MINUSTAH assisted the Haitian government in delivering election material to remote parts of the country by providing ground support, air support, and security.

(Photos by Logan Abassi, UN/MINUSTAH)

Joint Patrols

In preparation for the elections, UN peacekeepers with the military component partnered with UN Police and the Haitian National Police to form quick reaction forces that would be on standby to deploy to troubled areas up request of the Haitian government.

(Photos by Logan Abassi, UN/MINUSTAH)

Election Day Security

The MINUSTAH military component provided deterrence that contributed to a secure environment on election day.

(Photos by Logan Abassi, UN/MINUSTAH & Courtesy of MINUSTAH components)

URUPERBAT Community Outreach

During the election on Nov. 20, the public school in the locality of Mombin Crochú functioned as a polling center in the Northeast department of Haiti. This polling center was staffed by URUPERBAT, the MINUSTAH battalion comprised of troops from Uruguay and Peru. During the week the soldiers camped near the school, they noticed that part of the building structure showed significant damage and was in danger of falling. On the initiative of the URUPERBAT staff, in early December a team of masons, painters and gardeners went to the school with a joint patrol of UN Police and the Haitian National Police. A part of the structure of the school was repaired, and afterward a snack was given to the children and residents in the area.

Members of URUPERBAT do community outreach activities in the vicinity of Mombin Crochu, in the nothern part of Haiti. (Photos courtesy of URUPERBAT PIO)

Around MINUSTAH

Performers in traditional Chilean attire entertain the crowd after the Chilean Aviation Unit’s medal parade at Logistics Base, Dec. 2, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Dancers in traditional Fillipino garb perform during the PHILCOY medal parade at Delta Camp, Nov. 28, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Soldiers stand at attention during the BRABAT medal parade at Jaborandy Camp, Nov. 25, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Military Staff Officers participate in a firing competition, Nov. 12, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
MINUSTAH personnel participate in a Remembrance Day ceremony, Nov. 11, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Dancers perform after the ARGHOSP medal parade at Jaborandy Camp, Oct. 27, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon visits Haiti Oct. 17, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Soldiers stand at attending during the CHIBAT medal parade, Sept. 21, 2016. (Photo courtesy of CHIBAT)
Special Representative of the Secretary-General Sandra Honore cuts the cake after the PARAENGCOY medal parade, Sept. 29, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
BANAIR collects donations for charity on the National Mourning Day of Bangladesh, Aug. 15, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Soldiers with the Chilean Battalian conduct a joint patrol with UN Police and Haitian National Police in Anse-a-Foleur, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Lt Col Michael Sapp, MINUSTAH)

FarEwells

Maj Fabio Rodrigues of Brazil, U-1, receives the Bonbagay statue upon the completion of his tour, Dec. 9, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
CDR Fernando Paternostro of Argentina, U-5, receives the Bonbagay statue upon completing his tour with MINUSTAH, Dec. 9, 2016. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Maj Pedro Hernandez of Mexico, U-6, is recognized upon completing his tour, Dec. 9, 2016. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
MINUSTAH says goodbye to Maj Razibul Abedin of Bangladesh, U-4, Dec. 1, 2016. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
COL Carlos Pedro Gomez Vera of Peru, the force provost marshal, receives the Bonbagay statue from the force commander upon the completion of his tour of duty, Nov. 24, 2016 . (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
MINUSTAH bids goodbye to LCDR Helio Carneiro De Moraes Jr. of Brazil, U-3, Oct. 8, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
The force commander congratulates COL Carlos Jose Rocha Lima of Brazil, U-3, on a job well done upon the completion of his tour, Sept. 21, 2016. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Lt Col Emilio Rafael Obelar of Uruguay, U-4, is recognized upon the completion of his tour, Sept. 15, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
The force commander pins the UN medal on Maj Patrick Lanquette of Canada, U-3, upon the completion of his tour. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
The force commander presents the Bonbagay statue to Lt Col Andre Cassiano of Brazil, U-3, upon the completion of his tour, Sept. 2, 2016. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Lt Col Marcelo Manriquez, U-2, receives a certificate of appreciation from the force commander upon completion of his tour. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Maj Carl Mackinlay of Canada, U-5, recieves a certificate of appreciation from the chief of staff upon the completion of his tour, Aug. 19, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Maj Audrey Bourassa of Canada recieves a certificate of appreciation from the chief of staff upon the completion of her tour, Aug. 19, 2016. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
The force commander pins the UN Medal on Lt. Col. Camille Mack of the United States, U-2, upon the completion of her tour of duty, Nov. 11, 2016. (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
Deputy MPIO Maj. AJ Schrag receives the Bonbagay statue from the force commander upon the completion of his tour of duty, Nov. 11, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)
LCDR Nick Hoffman of the U.S.,U3, receives a certificate of appreciation from the MINUSTAH chief of staff upon the completion of his tour of duty, Nov. 11, 2016 (Photo by Ssg. Faizal Kasan, MINUSTAH)

Current Military Deployment

Military deployment as of December 2016

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