U.S. wants to find a country to lead Haiti military intervention by early November

By Jacqueline Charles and Michael Wilner

U.S. wants Haiti intervention force settled by November | Miami Herald

WASHINGTON – The State Department is pushing back against the notion that a U.S. resolution at the United Nations proposing the deployment of a rapid reaction force to Haiti is in peril, with a senior administration official stating Wednesday that he expects the dimensions of a force to be settled by early November.

The United States is proposing that a multilateral force, led by another country, be deployed to Haiti with urgency to help Haiti’s police break the stranglehold of gangs on its major ports and roadways, fueling the country’s worst economic, political and humanitarian crisis in decades.

The Haitian government and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres requested military intervention earlier this month after a powerful gang alliance blocked the country’s main terminal, leading to food, fuel and water shortages.

Sources told McClatchy and the Miami Herald this week that the U.S. resolution at the U.N. Security Council was imperiled, with no country stepping up to lead the mission and with several countries, including Russia and China, expressing skepticism over the invocation of Chapter 7 powers, which authorize the use of force under the U.N. charter and open the door to a possible return of a peacekeeping mission.

But as U.S. officials hold out hope for Security Council passage, they are also planning contingencies for a multilateral force that would enter Haiti without formal U.N. authorization. A fact-finding delegation from Canada, which has been holding conversations about the request, is expected to visit Port-au-Prince this week to discuss the crisis.

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