On Friday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously approved the imposition of sanctions and an arms embargo on Haitian armed groups. The sanctions include a ban on the leaders of the armed gangs traveling outside the country and the freezing of their bank assets.
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The resolution, which was drafted by the United States and Mexico, was supported by Russia and China. All UNSC members thus spoke in favor of stopping the chaos in a Caribbean nation that currently suffers even from a cholera outbreak.
"We seek above all to support Haiti in its struggle to establish peaceful coexistence and democratic governance," the Mexican diplomat Juan Ramon de la Fuente said.
"The UNSC has given a clear signal that the violence must stop and must not go unpunished. It is also important to have established an embargo on any arms transfers to those non-state actors who, in addition to terrorizing the civilian population, destabilize the country," he added.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the decision "is an initial response to calls for help from the Haitian people. They want us to take action against criminals, including gangs and those who finance them, who have been undermining stability and spreading poverty."
She thus referred to the intention of the U.S. and Mexico to present a second resolution that would promote an armed intervention in Haiti. Regarding this option, China and Russia have been reticent to date.
Haiti's representative to the UN, Antonio Rodrigue, welcomed the imposition of sanctions on armed groups, although he stressed that more measures are needed to restore security.
"There is no doubt that these measures will contribute to putting an end to the violent and deadly activities of these armed groups in the country," Rodrigue said, before warning that "sanctions alone cannot eradicate the high level of violence that devastates Haiti".