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Haiti: UN concerned at reported weapons distribution ahead of elections

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti today voiced concern at reports that arms are being distributed as the impoverished and earthquake-devastated country prepares to hold elections next month.

The mission, known by its French acronym MINUSTAH, called on anybody with knowledge of any such distribution to come forward and share it with the national and UN police and with international election observers.

“These allegations which recur every time there is an election without further specifics are emerging again,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Edmond Mulet said in a statement.

MINUSTAH called on all candidates in the presidential, legislative and senatorial elections to think of the country’s future and programmes that will restore hope to the people.

The 28 November polls will take place as the country is still reeling from January’s quake, which killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced about 1.3 million others.

MINUSTAH, which now has nearly 12,000 military and police personnel deployed around the country, has been on the ground since mid-2004 after then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide went into exile amid violent unrest.