Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ecuador sends soldiers to Haiti to support UN occupation

Ecuador on Friday dispatched a new contingent of peacekeepers to join UN peacekeeping forces in Haiti, which is still struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake in 2010.

The 66-member contingent would help UN blue helmets carry out humanitarian work in the impoverished nation, Defense Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said at a send-off ceremony.

"Today, the winds of peace and solidarity blow throughout the continent," she said, stressing cooperation among Latin American countries.

After their deployment in Haiti, Ecuadorian troops will provide medical aid, help rebuild roads and highways, and maintain order in the country's main cities.

Some 220,000 people were killed and more than 1.5 million others left homeless on Jan. 12, 2010 when an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck Haiti, causing widespread destruction and a major humanitarian crisis in the island nation.

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