Caribbean News in Brief – June 10-10


Port-au-Prince, Haiti: The United Nations Security Council has authorized the deployment of additional police officers to serve with its peacekeeping force in Haiti.

The deployment of 680 more officers as a result of a Security Council resolution will bring the total number of UN police serving with the UN mission, which is known as MINUSTAH, to 4,391.

In the resolution, the Security Council said it recognized “the need for MINUSTAH to assist the government of Haiti in providing adequate protection of the population, with particular attention to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups, especially women and children”.

Other challenges, it said, include dealing with the risk of resurgence in gang violence, organized crime and child trafficking.

The Security Council also encouraged MINUSTAH to provide logistical and technical expertise to help the government, continue efforts to bolster the rule of law and accelerate the implementation of resettlement plans for IDPs, adding that such steps on the part of the mission “will be phased out as Haitian national capacity grows”.


Georgetown, Guyana: CARICOM member states are concerned that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could reach the Bahamas and Jamaica.

CARICOM Secretary-General Edwin Carrington says the recent change in wind patterns could push the oil past the southern tip of Florida and toward Nassau and Kingston.

The matter is expected to be raised today when regional foreign ministers meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in Barbados.

The oil spill, described as the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history, started in April when the Deepwater Horizon rig sank after an explosion, killing 11 workers.


Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Opposition leader Keith Rowley wants the country’s integrity commission to determine whether Jack Warner can serve as a minister of government while holding a senior post at the world football governing body, FIFA.

Warner, who is a FIFA vice president, is also the new transport and works minister.

Rowley says he plans to write to President Max Richards regarding the matter.

Warner has said he will scale back his FIFA responsibilities to fulfill his cabinet duties.


Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua and Barbuda’s police commissioner has defended a decision taken by the government to arm officers with Taser guns.

Taser guns use a high electrical charge to immobilize a person. They are meant to be non-lethal.

Commissioner Thomas Bennett, a Canadian, says officers will undergo training before they are armed with the weapons, which he also said have a high approval rating.

The opposition has questioned whether usage of the weapon in Antigua was legal, and some people are also worried about possible indiscriminate use of the Taser guns by the police.

Bennett says he understands their concerns, especially given the fact that people have died after being tasered in other countries.

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