Returns to Haiti, Force Plans for Successors
By Jim Garamone
Interim Force in Haiti has begun planning for a follow-on force
June 1 no matter what form it takes, officials in Haiti said.
Kofi Annan said the follow-on force would have about 6,700 military
personnel and would be in place to relieve the U.S. led interim
force on time.
said they have begun planning for the transfer of authority. Commanders
have met with the U.N. assessment team and with members of the
military from interested donor countries.
service members from four countries are in the Multinational Interim
Force. The United States has about 2,000 service members in Haiti,
France has more than 900, Canada has more than 500 and Chile has
more than 300.
The U.S. contingent
has expanded into Les Cayes in the south and Hinche in the central
plateau. The French continue to expand the security zone in the
northern part of the country.
is working with nongovernmental and governmental agencies to deliver
humanitarian assistance to the population, said Marine Lt. Col.
Dave Lapan, spokesman for the force. The force recently distributed
$800,000 worth of excess Defense Department medical supplies to
the hospitals and clinics in and around the capital of Port-au-Prince.
has gotten better, we’ve been able to switch to more humanitarian
work," Lapan said. The force has helped deliver food, dig
wells and provide medical care.
The U.S. Coast
Guard still is patrolling around Haiti. Cutters intercepted a
number of boats recently and repatriated a number of migrants
today, Lapan said.
has started advertising a cash-for-weapons program in Haiti. The
force "will pay for information leading to weapons caches,"
Lapan said. The force will pay only after illegal weapons are
seized and evaluated. "We’re not going to pay for an old,
rusty, nonusable weapon," Lapan said.