Uruguay's President Jose Mujica said he plans to withdraw his country's peacekeeping troops from Haiti because of the lack of democratic progress and pointed to delays in convening Senate elections and a general political impasse in Haitian society.
They were supposed to have called elections to the Senate a while ago. We see it going very slowly, we see nothing happening, he said on a Uruguayan news program.
One thing is to try to help the Haitian people build a police force that is in charge of security. That's fine.
Another thing is being there indefinitely with a regime that we think is at least dubious in terms of a continuity of democratic renewal, he said.
Asked if he would withdraw the 850-strong Uruguayan contingent in the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti, Mujica said, Yes, I think so.”
Mujica did not offer a timetable for a withdrawal but said it would be gradual and in coordination with Brazil, which leads the UN force.
The UN Security Council in October said it was reducing the size of the force, which has been on the ground since 2004, to 5,021 soldiers, from 6,233. Brazil began reducing the size of its contingent in March.
Uruguay has contributed almost 1,000 soldiers to the United Nations mission in Haiti, the biggest contingent.
Uruguay was described by the UN and the US as the country which per capita, most contributes to UN peace keeping contingents.