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Haiti and the Validity of International Action, 89 American Journal of International Law 82 (1995)


In December 1990, after decades of dictatorship, the Haitian people overwhelmingly elected Jean-Bertrand Aristide as President. Every aspect of the election was monitored by international organizations and confirmed as "free and fair." Within months, the army, an ill-trained force of some five thousand men, seized power, expelled Aristide, and brutally suppressed popular protest. The Organization of American States and the United Nations Security Council condenmed the coup and its aftermath and ordered economic sanctions to dislodge the military. The sanctions failed. On July 31, 1994, the Security Council, acknowledging the gravity of the situation and recognizing that an "exceptional response" was required, passed Resolution 940, authorizing military action. The legality and wisdom of Resolution 940 has been criticized on the following grounds.

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