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Canada Pulls Top Commander Out of Haiti

Canadian military officials say the country's top commander in Haiti has been relieved of duty and is under investigation over allegations of an inappropriate relationship.

Officials made the announcement Friday, in the case of Colonel Bernard Ouellette, who was also chief of staff to the United Nations mission in Haiti.  Ouellette is alleged to have had an inappropriate relationship with a civilian member of the U.N. team.  A report on the case is expected in a few weeks.

The Canadian military also said the decision was made because of a loss of confidence by Ouellette's chain of command and that it came while he was on vacation in Canada.  Authorities say Ouellette's assignment in Haiti had been due to end this month regardless.

Canada has been involved with relief efforts in Haiti, which suffered a devastating earthquake in January that left more than 217,000 people dead and 1 million others homeless.  Many of the homeless are living in tent cities.  

This is the second time in recent months that the head of a Canadian military mission has been removed.  In May, the commander of Canada's troops in Afghanistan, Brigadier General Daniel Menard, was stripped of his duties because of allegations of an inappropriate personal relationship.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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