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As the UN leaves Haiti, its victims still wait for justice

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Today, the UN ends its 15-year long peacekeeping presence in Haiti.

Ostensibly sent to reinforce security, build rule of law and promote human rights, UN peacekeepers leave a more problematic legacy, marred by human rights violations. Notably, this week's drawdown comes nine years after peacekeepers sparked one of the deadliest cholera epidemics of modern times in the country.

The organisation's ongoing failure to remedy these harms - not only from cholera, but also peacekeeper sexual abuse and other violence towards civilians - has deeply undermined its legitimacy in Haiti. It also risks crippling the UN's proposed new 30-member political mission, due to begin tomorrow and charged with promoting political stability and good governance in the context of a growing political stalemate and human rights crisis in Haiti.

In June 2004, for the first time in history, the UN deployed a peacekeeping mission under Chapter VII of the UN Charter - authorising the use of force - without an active conflict or peace agreement to enforce, by declaring the political and humanitarian crisis in Haiti a threat to international peace and security. Since its arrival, following a coup that forced out former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has been considered by many Haitians to be an affront to sovereignty.

MINUSTAH's credibility was further eroded by its peacekeepers' implication in human rights violations. Early in its mission, in a raid........

© Al Jazeera