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EXPLAINER: Haiti’s troubled history of foreign interventions

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry and 18 members of his cabinet have requested the immediate deployment of foreign troops in response to gangs and protesters who have paralyzed the country.Fuel, water and other basic supplies have dwindled nearly a month after one of Haiti’s most powerful gangs blocked access to a main fuel terminal in Port-au-Prince where more than 10 million gallons of gasoline and diesel are stored, along with more than 800,000 gallons of kerosene. In addition, demonstrators have blocked roads in the capital and other main cities to demand Henry’s resignation and protest rising fuel prices after the prime minister announced in early September that his administration could no longer afford to subsidize fuel.Gas stations and schools remain shuttered. Banks and grocery stores are operating on a limited schedule.The United Nations secretary-general has offered the Security Council various options, including the immediate deployment of a rapid action force.Opponents claim Henry hopes to use foreign troops to keep himself in power – a leadership he assumed last year after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and that many consider illegitimate because he was never elected nor formally confirmed in the post by the legislature. He has failed to set a date for elections, which have not been held since November 2016, but has pledged to do so once the violence is quelled.Here is a look at previous foreign military interventions in Haiti and the impact they’ve had on the country of more than 11 million people:HOW MANY FOREIGN MILITARY INTERVENTIONS HAVE THERE BEEN IN HAITI?Since the early 1900s, there have been at least three major foreign military interventions in Haiti led by the United States and the United Nations.The U.S. first occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934.Nearly 60 years later, the U.N. launched a peacekeeping mission in 1993, followed by the arrival of U.S. troops in 1994. Another intervention occurred in 2004. The first of those was to restore President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. The second followed a rebellion that removed him again.WHAT LED TO THE INTERVENTIONS?The interventions came at moments of great political instability.Seven Haitian presidents were ousted or killed from 1911 to 1915, prompting U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to send U.S marines to Haiti in 1914. The U.S. removed half a million dollars from the Haitian National Bank for alleged safekeeping in New York. A formal U.S. occupation began in July 1915 and lasted until August 1934.In September 1994, the U.S. sent more than 20,000 troops and two aircraft carriers to Haiti as part of an operation dubbed “Restore Democracy” under President Bill Clinton. The aim was to restore to power Aristide, who had been ousted in a 1991 military coup. Aristide had become Haiti’s first democratically elected president the year before. A smaller contingent of U.S. troops remained in Haiti until early 2000, often under U.N. auspices.A parallel United Nations peacekeeping effort was launched in September 1993 and ran until 2000.Aristide was overthrown again in February 2004 in a rebellion originally launched by a street gang. The U.S., which had pushed him to resign, flew Aristide out of the country and sent troops — as did Canada, France and Chile. They were soon replaced by troops of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, which stayed until 2017.WHAT IMPACT HAVE FOREIGN INTERVENTIONS HAD ON HAITI?Robert Fatton, a Haitian politics expert at the University of Virginia, said that overall, “The occupations didn’t really improve anything in Haiti.”He said the 1915-1934 occupation created a unified Haitian military, which was the country’s dominant force until the dictatorial regime of François Duvalier and later his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier, from 1957 to 1986.The occupation also established a type of unpaid forced labor known as “corvée” in which U.S. officials used Haitian peasants to build roads, railroads and other infrastructure.“The occupation was very coercive,” Fatton said. “It was also very centralizing and … very racist.”He said the second intervention in 1994 was more popular because it helped restore the charismatic Aristide, a former priest who once served poor communities.The invasion led to the creation of Haiti’s National Police, which effectively replaced the Haitian Army that was disbanded in 1995, though many police officers were former soldiers.However, there were two failed coup attempts during that occupation and deepening political chaos.The U.N.’s 2004-2017 peacekeeping mission was marred by allegations of sexual assault by its troops and staffers and the fact that peacekeepers from Nepal were blamed for introducing cholera into Haiti’s largest river in October 2010 by sewage runoff from their base. The U.N. has since acknowledged it played a role in the epidemic and that it had not done enough to help fight it, but it has not specifically acknowledged it introduced the disease.Fatton said that while the U.N. mission “established a modicum of order,” in Haiti, it was a “very repressive organization.” “To destroy gangs, they used forceful means. That left a very bad taste with poor Haitians,” he said, noting that they live side-by-side with gangs in slums. “Whether you’re with the gangs or not, you suffered the consequences.”

UN flight from rebel-held Yemen capital returns 129 migrants

CAIRO — The U.N. returned 129 Ethiopian migrants stranded in war-torn Yemen to their homeland Tuesday in its first humanitarian repatriation flight to depart from the rebel-held capital of Sanaa this year.The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration has facilitated the voluntary return of more than 1, 800 mostly East African migrants from Yemen this year. However, all of 2022’s previous returnees flew from airports controlled by Yemen’s internationally recognized government in the cities of Aden and Marib.The migration agency said in a news release Tuesday that many of the passengers on the voluntary flight from Sanaa to Adis Ababa were unaccompanied minors and individuals with medical conditions.Some 43,800 mostly East African migrants are thought to be stranded in Yemen. Virtually all arrived in the war-ravaged country intending to travel north to neighboring Saudi Arabia, although few have completed the journey. Yemen’s ruinous conflict began in 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebel forces seized Sanaa. A Saudi Arabia-led coalition including the United Arab Emirates intervened the next year to try to restore the internationally recognized government to power.In trying to traverse the country, African migrants are regularly caught in the crossfire. They are often killed, detained or forcibly enlisted as fighters by Yemeni’s warring factions.The failure to extend Yemen’s nationwide truce Oct. 2 has threatened to reignite the bloody civil war after a six-month cessation of front-line fighting. The regional proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran has killed in excess of 150,000 people, according to the Armed Conflict Location

Lesotho’s election winner announces new coalition government

MASERU, Lesotho — Lesotho’s businessman-turned-politician Sam Matekane is set to become the southern African country’s next prime minister after cobbling together a coalition headed by his Revolution for Prosperity party.Matekane, 64, announced the new three-party coalition Tuesday in the capital, Maseru. His party will team up with two smaller parties, the Alliance of Democrats and the Movement for Economic Change parties, to secure a parliamentary majority needed to form a government. Matekane, whose party was only launched in March this year, won 56 of the legislature’s 120 seats in last week’s general election. That was five shy of the 61-seat threshold required for any party to form a government on its own. Although he had emphasized the importance of governing alone to enable his party to implement what he called a “developmental agenda,” Matekane joined forces with other parties after he failed to secure an outright win. Together the two smaller parties are bringing 9 seats into the new coalition, giving Matekane’s government a slim majority of 65 seats.Addressing the media Tuesday, Matekane said he chose the two parties because they share the same vision of cutting down on government expenditure and improving the delivery of government services to Lesotho’s population.Matekane is a newcomer to politics but the leaders of the two partner parties bring experience in government. Alliance for Democracy leader Monyane Moleleki served as deputy prime minister from June 2017 to May 2020. Movement for Economic Change leader Selibe Mochoboroane was development planning minister in the outgoing All Basotho Convention-led government which will hand over power when Matekane is sworn-in to office on a date to be announced.Matekane said the coalition’s immediate tasks will be “reining government expenditure, stabilizing the economy and uniting the nation.” Lesotho has been plagued by chronic instability and widespread poverty. He said he would hold a weekend retreat with coalition partners to map the way forward.Hundreds of people lined the streets near Matekane’s offices to celebrate his announcement of a new government.Commenting on Matekane’s victory in his first election, National University of Lesotho political science lecturer Tlohang Letsie said his new party won because the electorate was fed up with the political status quo. “The votes came from a place of anger … The election outcome is a clear message to all political parties that when people choose them to govern, they expect them to deliver,” he said.Matekane’s “incoming government must deliver, the people’s expectations must be met,” Letsie said. Maseru resident Tene Mabuse voiced similar views. “I want the new government to create jobs. Previous governments failed the people, they only sought to promote and serve their own interests,” Mabuse said. “I’m happy the Revolution for Progress has won because we need new players. We need them to create jobs.”He said Matekane and his party “should be warned that if they disappoint us, we won’t hesitate to dump them the same way they did the parties that we have ditched.”

Israeli soldier killed by Palestinian militant in West Bank

JERUSALEM — An Israeli soldier was killed Tuesday in a drive-by shooting in the northern West Bank, the army announced, saying that forces were searching for the attackers.It was the latest in a wave of deadly Israeli-Palestinian violence in the area. It came days after a female Israeli soldier was killed at a checkpoint in east Jerusalem, and 24 hours after a 12-year-old Palestinian boy died of wounds sustained in an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank.Israel has been carrying out nightly arrest raids across the West Bank since a spate of attacks against Israelis in the spring killed 19 people. Most of that activity has been focused in the northern West Bank.Israeli fire has killed more than 100 Palestinians during that time, making it the deadliest year in the occupied territory since 2015.The Israeli military says the vast majority of those killed were militants or stone-throwers who endangered the soldiers. But several civilians have also been killed during Israel’s monthslong operation, including a veteran journalist and a lawyer who apparently drove unwittingly into a battle zone. Local youths who took to the streets in response to the invasion of their neighborhoods have also been killed. At least three Israeli soldiers also have died.Israel says the arrest raids are meant to dismantle militant networks. The Palestinians say the operations have undermined their own security forces and are aimed at strengthening Israel’s 55-year military occupation of territories they want for an independent state.The army said Tuesday’s shooting happened near the Jewish settlement of Shavei Shomron, a few kilometers (miles) northwest of the Palestinian city of Nablus. It said the soldiers were attacked by a pair of assailants in a vehicle who fled.The Den of Lions, a new militant group led by young fighters from Nablus, claimed responsibility.“A group of our heroic fighters carried out a qualitative operation,” the group said in a statement. “We say to the settlers besieging the city of Nablus from all directions, today we will see who will besiege whom.”In Jerusalem, meanwhile, Israeli forces continued to search the Shuafat refugee camp for the gunman who killed a female soldier Saturday night. Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war. The area is now home to roughly 500,000 Israeli settlers. The international community widely considers the settlements illegal and obstacles to peace. The Palestinians claim all of the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, for a future independent state.

Man in South Africa charged with murder after 6 bodies found

Women’s rights group members protest outside the Johannesburg Magistrates court in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. A 21-year-old male has appeared in the court in connection with the discovery of six bodies at a car repair workshop in the city. (AP Photo1

German suspect in McCann case charged in separate assaults

BERLIN — German prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 45-year-old German man, who is also a suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann, with several sexual offenses he is alleged to have committed in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.“The accused is the same person who is under investigation in connection with the disappearance of the then 3-year-old British girl Madeleine Beth McCann on May 3, 2007, from an apartment complex in Praia da Luz in Portugal on suspicion of murder,” Braunschweig prosecutors said in a statement.The suspect spent many years in Portugal, including in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance. He has denied any involvement in her disappearance.The suspect, identified by media as Christian Brueckner, is currently serving a 7-year prison sentence for a rape he also committed in Portugal in 2005. On Tuesday he was charged with three counts of aggravated rape and two counts of sexual abuse of children. At an unspecified time between 2000 and 2006, the suspect allegedly tied up and raped an elderly woman in her vacation apartment in Portugal in her bedroom. He allegedly beat the victim several times with a whip and recorded the entire incident on video.During the same time period, the accused is alleged to have tied up an unknown, German-speaking naked girl aged at least 14 years at his residence in Praia da Luz to a wooden post in the living room. First, he allegedly beat the girl with a whip and then he brutally forced her to perform oral sex. The accused also videotaped this act.In June 2004, the defendant allegedly gained access at night to the apartment of a then-20-year-old woman from Ireland via the balcony in Praia da Rocha. The sleeping woman was then awakened by the masked suspect at knifepoint and raped. Subsequently, the accused tied the woman to a table and gagged her and raped her again. He then whipped the victim on the back and forcibly performed oral sex on her. The accused filmed large parts of the events with a video camera he had brought.In April 2007, the defendant allegedly ambushed a 10-year-old German girl playing on the beach at Salema in the district of Faro in Portugal, wearing only shoes and otherwise naked. He grabbed the child by the wrist and masturbated, forcing the girl to watch him.In June 2017, the suspect made eye contact with an 11-year-old Portuguese girl on a playground in Bartolomeu de Messines in Portugal. Then the suspect began masturbating until the frightened girl ran to her father who called police. They subsequently arrested the accused.Prosecutors said that the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann continues despite the latest indictment but they did not present any new investigative results in her case.The long-running case of McCann, who vanished shortly before her fourth birthday, has intrigued Britain for years. Her parents say Madeleine went missing after they had left her asleep in their holiday complex while they had dinner with friends at a nearby restaurant.

UK spy chief says China’s tech aims are a ‘threat to us all’

LONDON — The head of Britain’s cyber-intelligence agency on Tuesday accused China of trying to “rewrite the rules of international security,” saying Beijing is using its economic and technological clout to clamp down at home and exert control abroad.Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, said that despite war raging in Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Beijing’s growing power is the “national security issue that will define our future.” In a rare public speech to the Royal United Services Institute think tank, Fleming alleged that Beijing’s Communist authorities want to “gain strategic advantage by shaping the world’s technology ecosystems.”“When it comes to technology, the politically motivated actions of the Chinese state is an increasingly urgent problem we must acknowledge and address,” Fleming said. “That’s because it’s changing the definition of national security into a much broader concept. Technology has become not just an area for opportunity, for competition and for collaboration, it’s become a battleground for control, for values and for influence.”He argued that the one-party system in Beijing seeks to control China’s population and sees other countries “as either potential adversaries or potential client states, to be threatened, bribed or coerced.”Relations between Britain and China have grown increasingly frosty in recent years, with U.K. officials accusing Beijing of economic subterfuge and human rights abuses. British spies have given increasingly negative assessments of Beijing’s influence and intentions. Last year the head of the MI6 overseas intelligence agency, Richard Moore, called China one of the biggest threats to Britain and its allies.In 2020, then-British Prime Minister Boris Johnson followed the United States in banning Chinese tech firm Huawei as a security risk, ordering it to be stripped out of the U.K.’s 5G telecoms network by 2027.Fleming warned that China is seeking to fragment the infrastructure of the internet to exert greater control. He also said China is seeking to use digital currencies used by central banks to snoop on users’ transactions and as a way of avoiding future international sanctions of the sort imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.Fleming argued that China’s BeiDou satellite system — an alternative to the widely used GPS navigation technology — could contain “a powerful anti-satellite capability, with a doctrine of denying other nations access to space in the event of a conflict.”Fleming warned that the world is approaching a “sliding doors” moment in history — a reference to the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow film in which a woman’s fate hinges on a seemingly trivial moment.He called on Western firms and researchers to toughen intellectual property protections and for democratic countries to develop alternatives that can prevent developing nations from “mortgaging the future by buying into the Chinese vision for technology.”He said the world’s democracies can’t afford to fall behind in cutting-edge fields such as quantum computing, and warned of a potential weakness over semiconductors, the critical chips used in everyday electronics. Taiwan — which China regards as a breakaway province to be reclaimed by force if necessary — is a world leader in their production.“Events in the Taiwan Straits — any risk to that vital supply chain — have the potential to directly impact the resilience of the U.K. and global future growth,” Fleming said.Fleming also addressed the war in Ukraine, saying Russia is running short of weapons and Ukraine’s “courageous action on the battlefield and in cyberspace is turning the tide.”“Russia’s forces are exhausted,” he said. “The use of prisoners as reinforcements, and now the mobilization of tens of thousands of inexperienced conscripts, speaks of a desperate situation.”GCHQ, formally known as the Government Communications Headquarters, is one of Britain’s three main intelligence agencies, alongside MI5 and MI6. It did not disclose the sources of its intelligence on China and Russia.