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“The deployment of an international force remains crucial to stem gang's violence and human rights abuses against the Haitian people," UN Secretary Guterres stated.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) holds an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on Haiti, a country whose authorities requested the immediate dispatch of an international force to help the National Police fight gang-related violence.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) registered that 637 kidnappings occurred in Haiti in the first quarter of 2023. Such a figure represents a 63 percent rate increase compared to the same period in 2022.
Currently, gang-controlled areas comprise up to 90 percent of Port-au-Prince, whose residents experience widespread sexual and gender-based violence. Homicides reported between January and March 31 have also increased by over 20 percent compared to the Q4 2022.
“No elections have been held in Haiti since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021. National security has significantly worsened ever since,” UN Special Envoy for Haiti Maria Isabel Salvador said, welcoming that a High Transitional Council was recently installed in this Caribbean country to promote political dialogue and security conditions required to hold general elections in 2023
A quick thread on what's happening in Haiti:
Hard to know where to begin, but let's pick 2019, the year Haiti was supposed to have parliamentary elections. pic.twitter.com/adKqLmfE0E
“This initiative is important to restore the country’s democratic institutions. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to counteract the expanding influence of armed gangs to stabilize the country,” she stated.
UN Secretary Antonio Guterres stressed the urgent need to deploy an international specialized armed force in Haiti, whose National Police currently has only 1.2 officers per 1,000 inhabitants in a population of 11 million people.
“The deployment remains crucial to the efforts of national authorities to stem the violence and human rights abuses committed against the Haitian people, restore the rule of law and create conditions conducive to credible elections,” he stressed.