New York, United States (APP): The United Nations Security Council has decided to close the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti , known as MINUSTAH , by mid-October this year.

In an adopted resolution, the 15-nation council decided to extend the mandate of MINUSTAH for a final period of six months and shut down the mission by October, 15, 2017.

According to the resolution, the military component of MINUSTAH shall gradually drawdown during the six months.

A follow-on mission composed of police will replace MINUSTAH from October, 16 for an initial period of six months, it said.

MINUSTAH has been working in Haiti since violence and upheaval broke out in the island country in 2004. Since the devastating earthquake of January, 12, 2010 in Haiti , the mission has been engaged in efforts to help Haitians with reconstruction and recovery.

Briefing the Security Council early last week, MINUSTAH chief Sandra Honore said Haiti had made significant progress in consolidating democracy and maintaining security and stability with the inauguration of Jovenel Mo’se as President on 7 February, marking the restoration of constitutional order. Yet, in spite of these gains, pockets of fragility persisted and political challenges remained.

It is time, she said, to reshape the partnership among the international community, the United Nations and Haiti , with a view to monitoring concerns such as human rights issues and ensuring that progress made since MINUSTAH’s 2004 establishment endure.

With the Council’s support, said Ms. Honor, the joint transition plan would guide the handover, underpinning the gradual transfer of tasks to the Government, the international presence and the United Nations Country Team, thereby allowing Haiti to seize the opportunity to begin a new chapter in [its] history as the Mission transitions.