Thursday, January 19, 2006


Brazil maintains command of U.N. force in Haiti ahead of elections

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has named Brazilian General Jose Elito Carvalho Siqueira to head the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). This occurred following the apparent suicide of his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Urano Bacellar, who was found dead of a gunshot wound in his hotel room in Port-au-Prince on January 7. Siqueira heads the 6th Military Region, based in Salvador, capital of the northeastern state of Bahia.

Despite the rise in violence and kidnappings, Haiti plans to go ahead with the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections as scheduled on Tuesday February 7. A runoff is scheduled for March 19, while the president-elect is due to take office on March 29. Although scheduled initially for mid-November of last year the vote has been postponed several times since reportedly due to technical reasons.

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