History of Maritime Interception Operations, Haiti (1993–1996)

While the world was closely watching the Balkan crises develop, on the other side
of the world general Raoul Cedras, commander of the Haitian Armed Forces, staged
a coup against president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In September 1991, Cedras forced
Aristide to flee. The coup would lead to a five year struggle to return to a democratically
elected government. During this period, the UNSC also authorized
maritime embargo operations in support of its efforts to reinstate the ousted president,
who was in exile in Venezuela. Pressure was put on Cedras with the
imposition of economic sanctions by the Organization of American States (OAS),
which was later followed by sanctions adopted by the UNSC in SC Res.
841 (1993). This resolution embargoed oil, weapons and petroleum. Diplomatic
negotiations led to the so-called Governors Island Agreement (GIA) that aimed at
returning Aristide to the presidency. The agreement also stated that when a new
prime minister was installed, the imposed sanctions against Haiti would be lifted.
On 27 August 1993, the UN lifted the sanctions through SC Res. 861(1993) and not
much later approved the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) through SC
Res. 867 (1993). Economic sanctions were reinstated after an incident that
threatened US soldiers coming into Haiti, which occurred only a few days after the
incident in Somalia where US soldiers lost their lives in Mogadishu. The reinstated
sanctions in SC Res. 873 were bolstered when the UNSC also adopted a
maritime embargo operation through SC Res. 875 (1993) and 917 (1994).
A multinational but primarily US-led force authorized by SC Res. 940 was
mounted that would execute Operation Uphold Democracy to remove the de facto
regime and reinstate Aristide. When Cedras finally left Haiti in September 1994, the
multinational force (MNF) handed its tasks over to UNMIH. This UN mission
ended its operations in 1996, after held elections were observed to be free and fair.

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