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UN Chief Calls for Continued International Involvement in Haiti


The United Nations secretary-general has called on the international community to redouble efforts to stabilize Haiti, warning that the country is at risk of slipping into what he calls the "destructive cycles of the past."

In a report issued Wednesday, Ban Ki-moon praises Haiti's recent judicial reforms, as well as improvements in the country's economy. He says the security situation has also improved - thanks in part to the U.N. peacekeeping force, MINUSTAH.

But the report also says there has been an increase in kidnappings and gang activity in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, since December. Ban notes an increase in anti-government protests, saying tensions within the government have interfered with the country's reforms.

Nine thousand U.N. troops are stationed in Haiti. The U.N. mission to Haiti began in 2004, after a rebellion ousted then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and led to more than two years of gang violence.

In January, the head of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, said the country had only 8,000 of its own police officers - far short of the estimated 14,000 needed. He called on the international force to stay in the country until the government is able to fully provide its own security.

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