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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
New commander leads Haiti force
General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar
The UN's new Haiti commander faces a tough assignment
A new commander has taken over the UN's peacekeeping force in Haiti amid continued violence and unrest.

General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar replaces fellow Brazilian General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro at the head of the 7,600-strong contingent.

The force has been struggling to quell violence in Haiti since President Jean Bertrand Aristide was deposed in 2004.

The unrest has disrupted the registration process for elections due in November.

The poll may have to be postponed because Haiti will not be ready in time, a report by the Brussels-based think tank International Crisis Group said last month.

Bloody battles

Haiti has been riven by gang warfare and political violence, especially in the capital Port-au-Prince, where supporters and opponents of the exiled Mr Aristide regularly fight bloody battles.

Gen Ribeiro was criticised for failing to quell the bloodshed, though he denies this is why he decided to step down early.

The UN has stepped up efforts to root out gang members, arresting nine suspects on Tuesday this week.

But in some cases the UN has become embroiled in bloody battles.

Witnesses say at least nine civilians were killed in crossfire when UN troops raided a shanty-town looking for gangsters in July.

The UN's head of peacekeeping has appealed for elite troops for the Haiti mission, to conduct such difficult and dangerous missions.


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