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The Chileans extend their engagement in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The management of MINUSTAH in Haiti resurfaces

(B2) The Chilean Senate approved on Monday (30 December) the extension of the presence of Chilean troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, within the European operation EUFOR Althea, for an additional year.

Part of the Chilean contingent in December 2018 (credit: EUFOR Althea / Archives B2)

Sixteen Chileans present in Sarajevo

A vote acquired by a large majority: 26 votes 'For', 2 votes abstentions, according to the report made by the Chilean Senate. The commitment of this South American state remains limited: 16 officers and non-commissioned officers deployed mainly at the operation HQ in Sarajevo as well as at the observation and liaison post in Banja Luka. Chile is one of five third countries – with Albania, North Macedonia, Switzerland and Turkey – to participate in the European operation.

The antecedents of the Chilean presence in Haiti have weighed

This decision, however, was only achieved at the cost of a commitment from the Minister of Defense, Alberto Espina, on another subject. Allegations of rape or sexual abuse that Chilean soldiers may have committed within the framework of the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) resurface after the publication of an academic study (see box). The minister promised “ to thoroughly investigate each of the facts that come to my attention and to provide information in a clear and transparent manner ».


Minustah Babies

The investigation carried out by two academics, Sabine Lee, from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) and Susan Bartels, from Queen's University in Ontario (Canada) was published in The Conversation just before Christmas. Carried out from interviews with 2500 people, it shows that 265 children were born from relationships maintained by the Blue Helmets during the entire period of MINUSTAH (2004-2017). Some were consensual, but others were monetized and/or abusive. The victims are sometimes minors. Chilean soldiers, along with the Brazilians, Uruguayans and Argentines, are the main fathers of the 'Minustah babies'.


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).