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The European security force in Haiti: 300-350 men

PlaneA310FrDepartHaitiGendarmes-Fr1001.jpg

(BRUSSELS2) The european security force which will be deployed to Haiti could include at least 300-350 people. As the offers stand, we are talking about 100-140 French (Gendarmerie), 100 Italians (Carabinieri), 60 Dutch (Marechaussee), 23 Spaniards (Guardia Civil) and possibly Portuguese (these should confirm their participation here a few days).

European coordination. This would be placed in the hierarchical structure of the Minustah (the United Nations force in Haiti) but the European contribution would be coordinated by the EUCO cell set up in Brussels. It is thus a question of having “European visibility” for the efforts of the Member States and of avoiding the impression of dispersion left in public opinion. A point that several ministers insisted on during the Foreign Affairs Council on January 25.

Gendarmes better equipped than soldiers. As Karel de Gucht, the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, explained during the Council: “ It's not really armed soldiers that we need on site. But personnel capable of maintaining order ". " Our gendarmes are perfectly adapted to this task » added Pierre Lelluche, the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, after leaving the Council: “ Mmaintaining order in difficult environments, in the city, in the suburbs, in the countryside... It is their everyday work. Haiti is not a country at war. »

(photo: Ministry of Defense Fr / Dicod)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).