By Mahmoud Al Abed, Jordan Times
AMMAN, August 1 - Jordan will not be sending extra troops to Haiti, but rather would be replacing its peacekeeping contingent there with a new batch, an official said Sunday.
The official, head of the media office at the Public Security Department Major Bashir Daaja, was replying to news reports that the Kingdom was sending extra troops to the island state.
Daaja declined to confirm the size of the new group or the duration of its mission, but stressed that the replacement routine is coordinated with the UN.
UN Spokesman Damian Onses-Cardona was quoted by the Associated Press on Thursday as saying 750 more peacekeeping troops would be coming from Jordan to help control the violence that threatens to undermine fall elections.
The new troops from Jordan will arrive in the coming months and will be serving as temporary reinforcement to the multinational contingent of 6,200 troops and 1,400 police trying to stabilize the country, the UN spokesman said from Port-au-Prince.
UN sources have revealed in a March report that Jordan's contingent there already totaled 753, coming third after Brazil's and Nepal's.
A recent report by Washington File, published on the official website of the US State Department, said the additional troops would be coming from Jordan as well as the Philippines.
The UN mission replaced US-led forces that arrived after a three-week uprising toppled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Feb. 29, 2004. Hundreds of people have died since September in clashes involving pro- and anti-Aristide street gangs, police, UN troops and former Haitian soldiers who helped oust Aristide.
The Kingdom's contingent is usually a mixture of members of the Jordan Armed Forces and the police.
Jordan has so far taken part in peacekeeping efforts in the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and East Timor, in addition to Haiti.