UNITED NATIONS – A United Nations (search) team was on its way to Haiti to plan for a multinational force that will deploy there within the next three months, a U.N. spokesman said Monday.
The team was to arrive in Haiti on Tuesday, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said. The U.N.-backed military force will help stabilize Haiti in the fallout of a monthlong rebellion that led President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (search) to flee into exile a week ago.
The force will stay for three months, and officials haven't decided how many countries will participate. According to a resolution passed Feb. 29 — the same day Aristide fled — the U.N. Security Council would then be prepared to establish a U.N. peacekeeping force to remain in Haiti for a longer, unspecified period.
Eckhard would not give details about the assessment team, saying only that it was "multidisciplinary." It was a standard team the United Nations sends out to lay the groundwork for foreign troops and help determine what the force will look like.
Eckhard also said the U.N. special envoy for Haiti, John Reginald Dumas, will visit the country next week to discuss its political future. The United Nations also planned to issue a flash appeal Tuesday seeking international donations to alleviate Haiti's humanitarian crisis.