Haiti UN launches Operation Blue Shield to protect crimeridden urban centres

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9 December 2008Haitians beset by a staggering rise in acts of banditry, including kidnapping, are set to benefit from a new United Nations-backed urban security plan launched by the national police, including an increased presence and nighttime patrols. Under Operation Blue Shield of the UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), UN peacekeepers are expected to make up a substantial part of the patrolling force and will also double the number of mobile checkpoints. The Mission says Operation comes in response to the staggering rise in banditry, which has soared by some 40 per cent in recent months, especially in Port-au-Prince, the capital.MINUSTAH has frequently helped in cracking down on criminal and military gangs since it was set up in 2004 to help re-establish peace in the impoverished Caribbean country after an insurgency forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile.

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