Haiti I - EP 1

Duration: 16-Jun-1993 to 27-Aug-1993

The threat phase of this episode began when ousted President Aristide appealed for the UN to adopt sanctions against the regime on 3 June 1992. The UN General Assembly voted to support Aristide's return to power in November 1992, and the Secretary-General appointed a Special Envoy (Dante Caputo) to negotiate a settlement. OAS Ministers called for UN Member States to implement fully the OAS trade embargo. Special Envoy Caputo engaged in consultations with Aristide, Cédras and Bazin to negotiate a resolution of the conflict in late December 1992. A UN and OAS civilian mission was deployed (MICIVIH) in March 1993, and US unilateral targeted sanctions were imposed in June. UN targeted sanctions were first agreed to by UNSCR 841 on 16 June 1993 and went into effect on 23 June 1993.


Coerce the military to restore the legitimate government of Aristide.


Constrain the de facto government leadership (the de factos) from intimidating the population and governing the country.


Signal the Cédras regime (and the rest of the world) about the importance of the norm of democratic governance.


Arms imports embargo, petroleum imports ban, and asset freeze on the Government of Haiti or the de facto authorities in Haiti.

No individual targets specified.

Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions are likely to have significant impacts on the general population, since they include restrictions on the import of widely used commodities (such as oil), major commodity exports, and/or the transportation or financial sectors that affect the entire economy.

Sanctions imposition was deliberately delayed by 1 week. Sanctions Committee created, no sanctions monitoring mechanism in place. Enforcement authorities not specified.



Policy outcome

Cédras agreed to a process of negotiation five days after the sanctions were imposed (resulting in the Governor's Island Agreement or GIA) and appointed a new Prime Minister, selected by Aristide.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions appear to have been necessary to force move to negotiations, based on target response rate (5 days). It was not the impact of the sanctions, but the decision to initiate them.



Policy outcome

No material constraints experienced by the target (given the limited amount of time between sanctions initiation and target response), but the regime had less political room for manoeuver following the imposition of sanctions and changed its strategy.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions were the most significant new element in the continuing negotiation process between the OAS, the UN and the regime.



Policy outcome

Norm clearly articulated in UNSCR 841, with repeated references to the legitimate Aristide government, specific demands to re-instate the ousted regime, and unanimous support of UNSC and OAS; targets strongly stigmatized as "de facto authorities".

Sanctions contribution

The norm would not have been broadly articulated without the backing of the UNSC, but they followed OAS action, unilateral measures, and diplomatic processes.



Increase in corruption and criminality, strengthening of authoritarian rule, strengthening of political factions, humanitarian consequences.



  • Imposes arms imports embargo to Haiti (including police equipment).
  • Imposes petroleum imports ban to Haiti and specifies humanitarian exemption (pending Committee approval).
  • Imposes financial asset freeze on the Government of Haiti or the de facto authorities in Haiti.


  • Delays sanctions imposition (1 week).
  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Requests MS reporting.